Youth from Foster Care Model Confidence in the Third Annual Dare to Dream Fashion Show
SAN ANTONIO – A group of young adults in foster care, and some who aged out of the system, strut down the runway at the Third Annual Dare to Dream Fashion Show hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio. The fashion show at Granberry Hills Wednesday night featured 14 male and female models from the Preparation for Adult Living program that helps youth transition from foster care into adulthood and independence.
Jacob Daniel Ross, a 20-year-old who aged out of the foster care system, says he “stepped out of his comfort zone” to model in the fashion show. He sported a custom, tailored silver suit as one of his three outfits – the first suit he’d ever worn.
“This is my first fashion show, I’m nervous,” said Ross. “After this, I hope to not be nervous in front of crowds anymore. The show has been helpful to get used to being in front of people.”
BCFS-San Antonio helped him prepare to age out of foster care by providing workforce assistance and access to vocational training. Next week, he starts classes at Southern Careers Institute where he’ll study to become a mechanic.
“BCFS has been a really big help. Most kids turn 18 (from foster care) and don’t know what to do, so they help with getting a job, getting into school and paying for tuition,” said Ross.
Jessica Vasquez, 20, sat in the dressing room before the show with two hair stylists at her side, giddily describing the outfits she’d wear on the runway.
“The long blue dress is my favorite because it’s flowy and simple,” said Vasquez. “But I’m really nervous, I’m afraid I’ll trip.”
“BCFS helped me find the right route to go to school, and discover my talents,” said Vasquez. “They helped me see that I’m a natural leader. I want to be in the military or SWAT, and study business management.”
The youth modeled stylish outfits for different walks of life: daily wear, business professional and on-campus or collegiate looks, produced in partnership with several local universities. The models wore outfits from Threads for Teens, H&M and K&G Men’s Store.
“We host the fashion show to encourage our young adults to build self-respect and carry themselves with confidence,” says BCFS Lead Case Manager Verena Silva. “We want them to dream big, and for many of our youth, that includes going to college. So it’s especially fun to simulate a fun part of college life through fashion, something all teens and young people can relate to.”
“What do I want from the fashion show? I want to have confidence and feel pretty,” said Vasquez, who moved down the runway with grace and poise when her time came.
Additional sponsors included All Access Tags, Granberry Hills, Aveda, Superior Health, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
BCFS-San Antonio serves youth from the foster care system, and other young adults facing challenges like homelessness, poverty, teen pregnancy, or an unstable home life. BCFS-San Antonio is a “one-stop shop” that provides counseling, case management, and assistance with education, employment, housing location and access to medical care.
To learn more about BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/SanAntonio.
BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.