Nora and Missy stood upon the outdoor stage of their high school reflecting on their recent fashion show, “Notions”, they put on as a part of McCallum’s annual Spring show. Coordinating models, garments, promotions, music, etc takes much time and guts. When you throw a party, you always worry if anyone will show up.
And they did. Fashion show Director Nora and Assistant Directors Missy and Camille put on a show where 80 students, parents and supporters crowded the arena to participate in the gala event that generated nearly $1000 in ticket sales and auction items. Best of all, much of the proceeds went to Goodwill.
Now entering their senior year, they have an event to reflect upon for years to come. They may not realize that now but sticking your neck out there or, should I say, their fashions out there is not an easy task. Both in effort and courage. One of the most important and pivotal moments in life is taking action in areas where you have no control of the outcome and being confident enough to follow through.
When you ask them where they got their inspiration and courage to take that bold move. They’ll just look you straight in the eye and tell you “cuz we like being, you know, fashiony.” Actually, they were all part of the Fashion club and worked together to put on a group fashion show. Gotta love the boundless energy and self-confidence of youth.
So, here’s to Nora and Missy. Keep the good will and spirit to be greater than yourselves for the rest of your time on earth. And ‘thank you’ from us old timers for your actions and charity that we hope will stay in fashion for generations.
“After high school I plan to go to college. I’m interested in going into fashion, either in a fashion design or a fashion marketing degree. Ideally the school I go to will be California or New York.
Notions definitely allowed me to develop more leadership experience and helped me understand what one has to do in order to be a successful leader. Directing the show tested me in many ways I hadn’t thought possible. I yelled at people a couple of times! I couldn’t believe it. I hate yelling. But directing meant doing what I had to do in order to make the show better. The responsibility, confidence and leadership experience I gained from the show will help me wherever I end up.
Its important for students to do events that help charities because teenagers are stereotyped as being lazy and self centered. But by helping charities and by doing big events like plays, fashion shows or restoration projects, high school students are able to overcome that prejudice and become more mature.
I worked so hard on the fashion show that looking back I still feel like I could have done more. And looking back I still have doubts about some of the decisions. But I think these feelings are normal. I think whenever anyone puts as much effort, love and expectation into a project as I did, they are bound to be disappointed by something; little or big.
I think that its important to ‘be greater than yourself’ because you learn how to evaluate and move on. That was the biggest thing that I learned about myself and about life in general from this show; that you have to evaluate, and then let go of a project and hope that no matter what you do later, you can learn from your mistakes.”
And now’s Missy’s perspective:
After high school, I would like to attend a college where I can study something design-oriented. I know this is a very broad category, but there are so many areas of design that interest me. I would find anything from architecture, to graphic design, to painting an exciting area to study. Most of all, I want to study something that involves creativity, and allows me to use my own thoughts and ideas in a constructive way.
The fashion show that we organized was a completely creative process, meaning that Nora, Camille, and I had to start from the ground up to put together the different elements that made the show fit together as a whole. It was a very difficult process because there were so many things to think about. Nora, who was the director, took charge of this, and Camille and I (who were the assistant directors) helped her out. There were big things, like finding models and judges, and smaller things like making sure there were pens available for the silent auction. If any of these elements were ignored, the show would not have been such a success. Learning how to put together such a complicated event helped me learn that I have the ability to create big things – either things that have a large impact, or things that are tremendously intricate. Knowing that I can create such things gives me the confidence to know that I will be able to have a creative career, and create things that I would never have thought I could.
It is important to organize student showcases because the talent of all the students who participate needs to be shown. Everyone has their own area that they excel in, and those who are amazing fashion designers need to have a way to let the public see their unique methods and fantastic creations. This is just as important as having student art shows or student orchestra concerts. The community needs to see the creative minds at work of the people who will be the centers of the creative community in the future, and the students need to see that their talents are worthy enough to be shown to the current leaders of the creative community.
Having the Notions Fashion Show be a charity event benefitting Goodwill promoted an important sense of togetherness. Not only in the sense that we were donating money to a cause that helps people get jobs and provides inexpensive clothes, but also in the way that it seemed like a community effort to provide all the Goodwill clothes in the show. The clothes came from dozens of different owners who wanted their clothes to be put to a better use. They did not know that their clothes would be part of a fashion show, but they may have been thinking that their old clothes would go to some very cool use. Knowing that in some way more than just Nora, Camille and I picked out the Goodwill clothes was a very neat feeling, and made us feel grateful to the community that helped us put the line together.
Many people don’t think that they have the power to put together projects that seem larger than themselves, but the important thing to know (something that I learned from helping put together this show) is that everyone definitely has the capability to do it. You just need the help of others, and a very determined spirit.
It was so fantastic to know that my friends and I could put on this complex event. It made me feel like I had the power to positively influence the minds of others in the form of art (with the help of Nora and Camille and all the superb designers and models). Everyone can channel their ideas and influence through art, sometimes it just takes an experience like this to realize it. Some people have really unique ideas, and it is important for them to realize that through hard work they can make their ideas known to the public.
Our family has been donating to Goodwill for decades but reviewing their mission statement reinforces our continued donations to a great organization. Make sure you do the same whether it’s money, time, your car, clothes and almost anything. Check out your local Goodwill’s website for their donation guidelines.
Here’s their history:
Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was born. Since then, Goodwill Industries International has expanded to more than 182 cities in the United States and 34 foreign countries.
Dr. Helms’ vision set an early course for what today has become a $2.4 billion nonprofit organization. Helms described Goodwill Industries as an “industrial program as well as a social service enterprise…a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted.” Although all Goodwills share a common philosophy of assisting people with disabilities or other critical needs in their efforts to become meaningfully employed and independent, each Goodwill is autonomous, allowing the individual agencies to respond to the needs of their particular communities.
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