ROCHELLE, GA (WKOW) -- Prom is an age-old tradition that some students look forward to all year, but in one rural Georgia town it was a tradition with a dark history.
For decades, students at Wilcox County High School attended segregated proms. Even in 2013, a group of white students held a private dance where African-American students were not invited.
But Mariesha Rucker and Brandon Davis, who have best friends for life, knew it was time for things to change. Together they set out to throw the school's first integrated prom. It wasn't easy going; they started losing friends, students tore down their posters from school hallways, and word spread that some white families might riot.
"It's actually bigger than just prom," Mariesha said in an interview with ABC's Steve Osunsami. "Racism doesn't only exist here in this town. It exists in many other places across the nation and around the world."
They went online looking for help and help came from around the world. Well-wishers donated nearly $15,000! On their special night black, white and Latino students walked hand in hand.
"The world changes every day," Davis said. "Maybe we shouldn't follow the legacy already left. Maybe we should start a new one."