Yesterday was our first pop-up boutique of the school year at Morton School of Excellence and Dodge Renaissance Academy. The two schools are part of the AUSL network, which works with the lowest performing CPS schools to turn them around. When we walked in, we saw a completely transformed environment and the students were just as wonderful!
We started the event by having the 28 girls write down things they are proud of or attributes they like about themselves (see post-it note pic above). Some girls identified as good singers, others as being goofy, and 14 year-old Daijahna simply said she loves herself (which we're all about!).
It's difficult for us to imagine the hardships these girls face because we only see them in a fun and empowering setting. Prior to the students arriving, we spoke with Carla Rubalcava from AUSL who put it into perspective for us. Carla had seen us carrying the bags of clothes in for the pop-up that day and said to image the girls with equally heavy emotional bags weighing them down.
In that moment we realized what an impact the pop-up boutiques have on the girls. They act as an escape and special moment to celebrate themselves. This is why we do what we do.