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Fashion show helps African-American girls gain confidence

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by Gerald McKinstry

Ayana Nedd, 14, and Shaw-na Gates, 12, were a bit nervous before they strutted down the catwalk.

The two students from Yonkers Middle/High School had been preparing for yesterday’s fashion show at Nepperhan Community Center for months because it was much more than just showing off the latest styles.

“We’re bringing the community together,” said Gates. “We all like to express ourselves.”

“We like that it shows that females can come together and do something positive for the community,” Nedd said.

More than 100 family and friends turned out for the show, a fundraiser dubbed “Youth Empowered by Fashion.” The festivities were sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women’s Hudson Valley Section.

The show was broken up into three acts and the outfits were donated by Limited Too in Cross County Shopping Center and Ashley Stewart in the Bronx. Lakesha Fuller performed at intermission and rapper William Turner was the master of ceremonies.

The show was the first event of its kind for the council that sponsors programs for African-American women. The 17 or so models, ages 6 to 15, are part of the council’s Young Ladies in Progress.

It’s one of many different programs designed to promote healthy lifestyles, wellness, community leadership and professional development, among other goals.

This show was the culmination of a program aimed at building self-esteem, confidence and character, said Connie Fowler, president of the Hudson Valley Section.

“We are here to help them make the right choices,” Fowler said. “If you can go up on that stage with a little swing, it’s a good feeling. It’s a motivator.”

Having high self-esteem and a healthy body image are important for young black women, said Dwanita Crosby, a 25-year-old youth adviser and event chair who has been involved with the group since she was 10.

“It makes them feel better about themselves,” Crosby said. “The whole purpose is to mentor them so that they become successful.”


Written by Symphony

May 25, 2008 at 7:03 pm

One Response

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  1. hello,
    i just have come to meet same Eritean lady in sudan,she is very beautyful,i just wanna iuntroduce her to ur ……..,just let me know how?thanks.

    Isaias Redai

    July 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

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