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Maryland teen surprised with Pandora prom package after sewing hundreds of masks

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Posted at 8:55 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 23:32:39-04

BALTIMORE — Due to the coronavirus, high school seniors are missing out on special moments including prom and graduation.

Jena Ialongo, a senior at Glenelg High School, is one of the disappointed seniors missing her friends, but she's making the most of her time at home by making hundreds of face masks for workers at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Ialongo was inspired after seeing her teacher create face shields using a 3D printer. She then recruited other students, parents, and teachers to sew masks.

"Being able to make the face masks has really been helpful for me because it's doing something to cope with everything I've lost this year. And it's been great because we've made 1,200 face masks and face shields combined, which is amazing. And me, myself, I have sewn over 200 at this moment," said Ialongo.

For her contributions to the community, Pandora sent Ialongo a Pandora prom package filled with jewelry and other goodies totaling more than $500.

Ialongo is one of 10 high school seniors across the country being recognized by the Baltimore-based company.

She wore her new accessories, and hand-sewn dress, to a virtual prom on Saturday where Ialongo and 11 of her friends danced to a DJ, played games, and decorated their homes to get into the spirit.

"I ordered the fabric around December, and when I found out the prom was canceled, I was kind of upset about it, but I decided to sew my prom dress and that's kind of how I got into sewing the other masks. So, I got to wear that dress and it was really nice to wear that and the Pandora jewelry together," said Ialongo.

Ialongo plans to attend the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall to study engineering.