By Girls For A Change
The Girls For A Change (GFAC) Thomas Jefferson High School Girl Action Team is a group of high school girls passionate about creating change in the fashion industry and uplifting school spirit through style. After extensive research, discussion, and planning, they submitted a proposal to RVA Fashion Week to host an event at their school that helps bridge the gaps public schools face with community and youth engagement, and it was approved!
On April 18, the event, “Show Up, TJ and Secure the Bag”, is a call to action to create social change and bring about awareness, introduce solutions, and inspire their peers to see opportunities in the Fashion Industry. Since November, participants have met with designers, artists, entrepreneurs, and other creatives to develop original pieces as a collective project that expresses fashion as a message for social change and represents their perspectives on the intersection of fashion and culture. The team has already had a successful model call, a photoshoot and has begun creating their runway pieces.
“Working with the Girls For A Change team and witnessing how they inspire, motivate and challenge their girls in this fashion industry as well as teaching them how to navigate through the necessary steps and processes has been unbelievable. These types of stepping stones are what turn into milestones as they continue to grow and explore. These girls are very bright and very passionate about their craft and I cannot wait to see all of their hard work come to fruition on Tuesday, April 18th at Thomas Jefferson High School!” said Jimmy Budd, Executive Producer, RVA Fashion Week.
“As a local artist, it is an honor to work with Girls For A Change and the young ladies in our surrounding communities. I enjoy teaching them to tap into their creativity and artistry while learning new things about themselves and the world around them. These girls are bright and capable and deserve all we have to offer,” stated Shawnda Harper, Owner of Nappy Nerd.
This unique fashion show experience will feature repurposed pieces designed by girls on the team, modeled by future fashionistas and professional models. Imagine a high fashion runway complete with red carpet, stage lights, and professional sound – at a school. In addition, there will be a panel of special guests from the industry, some of whom came up through the Richmond Public School system. There will also be a Youth Creator Market which will feature Girls For A Change Immersion Lab entrepreneurs as well as other local youth entrepreneurs from the community.
The Thomas Jefferson Girl Action Team has reimagined the fashion show experience to bridge the gaps public schools face with community and youth engagement.
“The young ladies at Thomas Jefferson High School who participate in the Girl Action Team with Girls For A Change are nothing short of amazing. I have watched them grow and change positively as they have participated in the program. I have had the pleasure of watching many of them transform from sweet little 6th graders to current 10th grade young ladies. I am so proud of their growth and extremely happy that they have had the opportunity to work with
Girls For A Change. I look forward to the fashion show and their opportunity to let their talent and creativity shine.” said Cherita H. Sears, Principal, Thomas Jefferson High School.