(CBS) — Alums and other friends of Amundsen High School on the North Side are helping students get to the prom this year because the help that’s usually there has effectively dried up.

Amundsen High School has 90 percent low-income students, says Principal Anna Pavichevich. And in the past, she’s been able to set some money aside to help students who want to go to that American rite of passage: prom.

“This year, we’re having to make critical decisions about books and resources that teachers need in order to provide critical services to students,” she says.

But Friends of Amundsen — and Amundsen alums — has stepped up to help by buying gift cards, for example, to help send deserving seniors to prom.

“I think the big message is this is happening all over the city. Support your neighborhood school,” Pavichevich says.