UPDATE 7/21 - After 163 hours of labor, nearly 50 roles of duct tape and over a month of waiting, on July 21 Larissa Leon heard she won the 'Stuck at Prom' contest. Leon beat four other candidates in the dress category and will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship. Leon said she is extremely grateful to the community for their support.
"That I'm really thankful for them because if it wasn't for them this wouldn't have been able to happen and thank you for helping me achieve one of my dreams," Leon said.
UPDATE 7/14 - July 14 is the last day to vote in the 'Stuck at Prom' contest. To cast your final ballot click here.
Sunnyside, WA - Sunnyside High School Student Larissa Leon went viral on TikTok after posting a video of a folkloric duct tape dress she made for a scholarship competition. Today, the ten finalists for the scholarship were announced and Leon is one of them.
Leon said she was super excited when she found out a few days ago.
"I remember running to my parents and they were still asleep but I like tried to wake them up," Leon said. "Then I woke them up and showed them the email and they were like still kind of drowsy they didn't know what was happening but I was like I'm a finalist and I got so happy."
Leon said she wanted to make a colorful dress so she decided to make the dress in folkloric style to honor her culture. However, she never dreamed she'd get so much support from her community and from people all over the world.
"I received support from my school, my friends and well it feels nice because I didn't know I was going to have so much support so it makes me very happy," Leon said.
Leon said she's always been a crafty person. From a young age, she liked to make things with duct tape like bracelets, a backpack and even a pair of mermaid fins she would swim in. When she learned about the Stuck at Prom Scholarship offered by Duck Brand she knew right away she wanted to participate.
The dress took her over 160 hours to make and she used over 40 roles of duct tape. Leon said she had fun putting the dress together, but it didn't come without it's complications.
"I found it difficult to make the tape lay flat because it kept getting very creased up but I figured out a way how to do it," Leon said.
Leon's mom, Maria Perez, said she found the project very overwhelming at first because Leon took over the whole house when working on the dress.
"I would literally come home from work and there would be duct tape all over the place, there was a mess, the dog had duct tape on him," Perez said.
However, she added the end result was worth the mess.
"I never in a million years thought that she would create something so beautiful," Perez said. "I should've known from all the other stuff that she had done when she was little."
Leon said she put her sweat and tears into making the dress so it's much more than just one of her creations.
"The dress symbolizes a part of me especially a part of my culture and it really means a lot more to me than just a simple dress," Leon said.
Now that the judges have announced the 10 finalists for the scholarship, the public can go onto the Stuck at Prom website to vote for their favorite dress or suit. All you need to vote is a valid email address. You can vote once per day until the voting closes on July 14.
There will be two first place winners that will each get a $10,000 scholarship. The winners will be announced July 21.
Leon said this money would help her a lot because she wants to study dermatology, which requires a lot of schooling.
"I want to study a very lengthy career and college can be quite expensive so it could really help a lot in helping with my studies," Leon said.
However, even if she doesn't win, Leon said she is happy that her hard work was recognized.
"If I do get a lot of support from the community then I'll have a slight chance," Leon said. "If not that's okay because I made it to the finals so to me I'm already a winner."