Keanu Waters, 17, a Brentwood High School honor student and this year’s Project Prom winner, was delivered to his senior prom Friday night at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury in a white mega-stretch limo, wearing a tuxedo that Newsday readers overwhelmingly chose for him.
“I feel confident,” said Waters, pointing to his swanky sapphire blue tuxedo with a subtle paisley pattern. “It was a total transformation. I started the day as average Bob Keanu and ended up as the dazzling, maybe prom king.” (He’s in the running and apparently odds are on him for the win.)
His date, Carolann Torres, 17, wore a sparkling blue gown with a lace-up back from Estelle’s Dressy Dresses in Farmingdale to match Waters’ look. Newsday footed the bill for both.
Parents, teachers and administrators at the prom greeted Waters with hugs and thumbs-up.
“Did I vote for that suit?” asked Cindy Ciferri, a school board member. “Absolutely. I’d put him on the school board if I could.”
Brentwood High assistant principal Dashana Dulin said, “Keanu is one of our student leaders and [Project Prom] was just a great, great opportunity for him. It’s so well-deserved.”
English Department chairwoman Kate Lasky added, “There couldn’t be a warmer, more mature kid.”
Waters, who is heading to LIU Post in Brookville on full scholarship in September, was flanked by friends for photos early on. They were fans, too.
“I’ve known him since kindergarten and he’s really great. He’s done a lot of stuff for the school,” said Carlos Claudio, 17.
Emily Tong, 17, said, “He really deserves it. He works so hard and he’s a popular dude.”
So popular, in fact, that Mark Tricarico, the owner of Black Tie Tuxedo by Sarno in Farmingdale, where Waters got his tux, was so charmed by the young man that he offered him a job.
He starts Monday.