SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – They’ve had a tough high school career. They had to adapt to the pandemic, and recently wildfires have forced many of them from their homes. That meant the seniors of Mora High School were at risk of missing their prom.

Michael Barboa is graduating next Friday, and he knows firsthand how tough it’s been. “I really missed school,” Barboa said. Just when he thought his high school career couldn’t get any harder, the Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon Fire forced him and many of his classmates out of their homes.


Story continues below


Michael and his girlfriend, Anali Roybal, a junior at Pecos High School, said they didn’t think they’d be able to go to prom together either. “I was disappointed, but I knew it hurt him more,” said Roybal. “It’s his last prom and I knew it means something to him,” she explained.

Until this week, when they found out they would be getting that special night after all. Their theme is Starry Night, and it’ll be hosted by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, at the Governor’s Mansion, in Santa Fe.

“I think it’s really cool that we get to go to the governor’s mansion, I think that’s awesome,” said Barboa. In a statement, the Governor says their lives have already been upended by the fire, and she wanted to ensure the students could celebrate the time-honored tradition.

“I thought that was really cool, that they were able to pull something off for us,” said Barboa. “They didn’t just forget about us,” he said.

The Governor is also providing the food, DJ, and photo booth. Right now, Padrinos De Prom is collecting donations to help students buy dresses and tuxes for the special occasion. If you’re interested in donating, you can do so by using this paypal link, or you can take a check to the Center of Southwest Culture, in Albuquerque. Any extra funds raised, will go to helping those displaced during the fire.