Fall Fashion Show Supports Individuals Served and The Community
23 December 2013
When Ayanna Parrent, Program Director for the Therapeutic Mentoring program in Hyannis, Massachusetts, first started brainstorming about a fashion show with her friend Amanda Converse, who owns the store SHIFT in Hyannis, the idea sounded both exciting and simple. Mentors and adolescents served would be the models in Amanda Converse’s annual fashion show fundraiser to showcase the boutiques and raise funds for a chosen community program.
Many fittings, permission slips, and much preparation later, the idea was no longer simple, but the result was even more exciting than they had imagined, according to Ayanna. On November 3, 2013, the Hyannis program, which serves children ages 3-21, held their first fashion show. “Through pep talks and endless coordination we were able to make it happen,” says Ayanna.
Fifteen pre-teens, teens and Therapeutic Mentors participated in the fashion show. Each one walked down the runway modeling three to four different boutique outfits. “They were beautiful, prideful, strong, silly, and strutting all their stuff down a runway of fashion and life,” says Ayanna. “This opportunity was a gift for us. Each of the children that participated in the fashion show has a struggle to share with you, a difficult one, but on this day, for one moment, they were changed and made to feel special.”
All models were treated as professionals and received hair and makeup from Salon 700, who donated their staff and time to get the kids ready. “The impact this had on our staff, kids, families and foster parents was more than incredible,” says Ayanna. “A teen mom was able to walk with maturity down the runway with poise because her foster family and Therapeutic Mentor worked so effortlessly with her to ensure her growth and development. A shy boy with severe anxiety a year ago found the strength to smile, strut his stuff and do something he never imagined possible, all due to the support of his wrap-around team, foster family and Therapeutic Mentor. There are more stories to tell, but those are just a few and a wonderful example of why I love my job. It’s the reason we do the work we do every day.”
The fashion show raised more than $500 for Shea’s Youth Basketball Program, which helps youth at risk get involved in their community and stay positive.