Lights, camera and taking action. The students in Jeff Croley’s creative leadership class at DeWitt High School are putting on a fashion show Thursday night, featuring outfits made entirely from clothes that have been given a second chance.
“Jeff Croley came to me and pitched this idea and said, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘Count me in.'” DeWitt High School Counselor Jessica Gleeson said. “I just believe in second chances for anything. I think we all make mistakes in our life.”
Senior Paige Tuckerman is the student organizer for the show.
“Mr. Croley actually had the original thought to do a thrifted, second-chance fashion show, and I loved it,” Tuckerman said.
Tuckerman is going to Saginaw Valley State University in the fall with the hopes of one day becoming a wrongful convictions attorney, a job centered around giving second chances.
“We asked groups of students to go out and find whatever they want, come up with their own themes, create their own looks, things that they feel comfortable in, just to give clothes that second chance to be beautiful as well as us giving second chances to inmates,” she said.
All proceeds from the show will go toward buying Hustle workbooks for Ingham County inmates.
“There’s a ton of information in it,” Ingham County Jail Program Coordinator Cynthia Johnson said. “Like, if they’re interested in starting their own business, there’s a chapter on that. There’s a chapter on relationships—all kinds of things—how to deal with anger or difficult people and that kind of thing. There’s puzzles in it. It’s really interesting.”
Johnson brought the Hustle workbooks to the jail about a year ago and said about 250 inmates are using the books.
“One of the things that we push in the jail, especially with these books, is that the community is doing this for you,” Johnson said. “They want to see you succeed.”
Senior Abby Yhulon, who says she’s been designing clothes since she was seven, is taking her role as a designer one step further.
“I took it as an opportunity to take the thrifted clothes, deconstruct them and just use the fabric, and then I make my own patterns and reassemble everything,” Yhulon said. ” I can’t wait to see everyone’s look. I know I put a lot of hard work into mine, so I really can’t wait to show them off. I think it’s for a great cause and I think it’s a reminder that fashion can be sustainable.”
Tickets are $7 for students, $12 for adults. They will be on sale at the door. The show starts at 7 p.m. in the performing arts center at the high school.
For those unable to attend, the class is also accepting donations.
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