Mahatma Gandhi once said “ Be the change you wish to see in the world”. So every day I strive to be one step closer to helping our youth transform into responsible , respectful , self confident young adults. I would have never guessed that at the age of 24 I would be in year three of running a successful program. F.A.M.E. Design Program is an after school mentoring program that caters to young ladies in the 4th – 8th grade to help with self esteem and confidence by embracing their creativity through fashion and art projects. Our goal is to help young ladies find their passion and expose them to the many different careers in the fashion and art industries. By bringing in entrepreneurs in those industries, the girls are able to learn how to start a business, learn about what career path they may want to invest in , and also ask questions that may help them learn the operation of the business. Our guest speakers range from fashion designers to chefs to cosmetology professionals and anyone who has a career that they wish to share with our young ladies. I want them to leave with a well rounded experience and be able to try new things and learn about things that will help them step out of their comfort zone.
A lot of times our children aren’t exposed to opportunities that aren’t in their communities and we often put limits on them. Our future generation of innovative individuals are so talented and driven that we must encourage them and reinforce that they are able to do anything they put their mind to. In the program the girls have as much input as I do as long as they are able to justify their decisions. For example when planning for the fashion shows the girls often suggest appropriate music , choreography , or ideas for designs to put in the shows. This not only gives them a voice but also helps out when planning a production for about 35 girls.
Currently the program is run out of the Mount Washington School but we are looking to expand in other schools, recreation centers, churches, or other youth development organizations.
F.A.M.E. is simply a program that highlights fashion, art , mentoring , and etiquette into the sessions in order to help young ladies embrace their creativity on the runway of life . Our future goals are to one day expand to young men and get them engaged in the fashion and art industry. However this will take some time due to the stigma that is put on guys who are into fashion industry. Our dream is to touch the future generation of our city and make them believers of their own potential and see that they are not a statistic but a human being capable of making the impossible possible.
We are always seeking volunteers and interns who wish to be a part of an organization that combines compassion with fashion and makes dreams come true. If anyone is interested in finding out more information about the program you may contact the director, Antoinella Peterkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also keep up with our future endeavors by following us on Instagram and Facebook at famedesignprogram.