FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – More than 50 girls gathered at the Renaissance Pointe YMCA Saturday morning for the Fort Wayne Girls Rock “Fashion Blast” event. The event focused on more than just clothes. It was also about empowering and inspiring the middle and high school aged girls as they begin another school year.
“We didn’t want to just talk about the outside of fashion,” Denita Washington, the Executive Director of Fort Wayne Girls Rock, said. “Everybody does that. We wanted to wrap fashion around careers. We wanted to tell girls about the different careers that are out here that a lot of women in our city are in, and they’re powerful women.”
The female mentors, including NewsChannel 15’s Eryn Rogers, either lived and worked in Fort Wayne or were originally from the city. They all shared their success stories as well as the challenges that shaped their career paths.
“For people who are…feeling hopeless, who don’t have a direction for their life or their career, so they can know that you can take anything from the dust and make it something…there are opportunities and success that come out of Fort Wayne,” said modelpreneur, Ashleigh Barnett.
Organizers said the goal was to inspire the girls to dream big and to understand that education is the key to success.
“As they go back to school, goal-setting can start to trigger in their minds about the process and how it goes,” Washington said.
Many of the girls said they were happy to have programs such as Girls Rock in the community because it helps give them access to a variety of opportunities.
“Self-discovery. You have to have confidence in yourself,” said Antonia Mitchell, a sophomore at North Side High School. “You have to believe in yourself.”
There was also an all male panel for the girls to get a different perspective. The next Fort Wayne Girls Rock event will be their annual lock-in for the girls in November.