Mississippi teen uses 14 rolls of Duck Tape to make prom dress, places Top 10 in national contest

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

While it’s nerve-wracking to put yourself in the public eye, it’s paying off for two teens who came out on top of the 23rd Annual Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest. Nearly 200 high school students from the U.S. and Canada crafted captivating prom attire completely out of Duck Tape® for a chance to win $10,000 college scholarships.

Those students were narrowed down to the top 10 by contest judges and now the public has voted on their favorite creations to crown the Grand Prize winners: Karla Torres Tejeda of Los Angeles, California, took the prize for Best Dress and Ian Hernandez Rojas of Taylorsville, Utah, won Best Tux.

Garnering the most online votes, Tejeda wowed the public with her dress inspired by 18th century art while Rojas stood out from the others with his suit that honors his Salvadoran roots. They will each take home $10,000 scholarships for their beautiful, handcrafted ensembles.

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“From going viral on social media to fielding interviews with the media, the top 10 finalists gave it their all,” said Ashley Luke, senior product manager at Shurtape Technologies, LLC, the company that markets the Duck® brand. “With so many talented teens entering this year’s contest, the competition was high, but Karla and Ian really exemplified how an ordinary material, like Duck Tape, can be transformed into artful attire.”

Aubri Sparkman of Hattiesburg placed in the Top 10 round of finalists. Using 14 rolls of Duck Tape over in 66 hours of work, Sparkman’s dress was inspired by music.

“Music has the power to evoke emotions, transport us to different times and places, and unite us with others,” she explained. “Because music is not just black and white, the mirror duct tape is meant to represent the way music constantly moves and changes. There are several instruments included in this design: piano, violin, tambourine, and electric guitar. The notes on the skirt are a measure from an actual song.”