Youth from BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program took part in a fashion show promoting personal style and professionalism at the Granberry Hills Event Facility on the northeast side of San Antonio, Texas.
“We have held this event for several years now and think it’s very important for the professional development of the young people we serve. The students always show a lot of confidence, and it is such a joy watching them blossom and taking ownership when it comes to their future success.,” said Celeste Garcia, Executive Director of BCFS Health and Human Services’ Community Services Division.
Sofia Gayou, a Learning Development Professional and the speaker for the evening, offered tips on first impressions and professionalism in action. “When I walked up here, it only took you seven seconds to make a judgement about me,” said Sofia. Her advice was aimed at making an impact on a future employer that would last well after the interview was done.
Sofia reminded attendants that the vast majority of communication is nonverbal. Just as dressing professionally is important for making a great impression, equally important are your tone, posture, and gestures.
Sofia then asked youth to write down a list of attributes they felt described them – the attributes that they wanted to define their professional lives – and challenged the youth to put energy into making that list a real representation of who they are and how they present themselves.
After hours of getting dressed, made up, and running through dress rehearsal, it was time to begin the show. Outside, the sun passed behind the horizon. The lights in the main hall dimmed down and the music hit a rhythm worth walking to. A pair of spotlights centered on the small, curtained entrance at the back end of the room. The walkway in the center was waxed, flanked by the audience on both sides; ready for the night’s participants to display their best professional attire.
The youth went through two rounds of showcase, the first casual and the second formal wear. Between the two rounds, a few local celebrities made guest appearances on the runway, including Miss San Antonio, Miss Black Texas, and Toddler Miss BRP USA.
At the end of the show, each of the youth were handed a bouquet of red roses. Several of the dresses and suits worn by the youth were donated to them to take home, adding to the box of professional tools from which they can fashion their future.
Learn more about BCFS-San Antonio’s work with youth in foster care, or stay up to date with BCFS Health and Human Services on Facebook.
For the donation of their time, finances, resources, knowledge, and encouragement, BCFS-San Antonio thanks the following sponsors:
- Granberry Hills
- Brava Events
- Hair & Makeup by Ana
- Alamo City Barber College
- Unique Creations Plus
- San Antonio Threads
- Galdina’s Dresses
- Rex Formal Wear
- Monte Carlo Studio & Bridal
- Vega’s DJ Services
- Pretty Petals Floral Boutique
- Chaunice Holley, Ms. Black Texas