ASK any young girl what’s the most important item on her list for graduation and you can bet she will say it’s her dress.
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While some eager young are getting set to attend their graduation ball in their dream dress, others may not be so fortunate as not all parents are in a position to afford it. The She Chose Life Foundation, located on George Cabral Street, St James just may have the answer.
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“For us, it’s simply about making a difference for any young graduate’s ceremony. It’s about them getting, maybe not what they would buy had they the money, but giving them the chance not to miss out. It should be a time in a young lady’s life when the entire horizon lies in front of her, her whole future is just about to start and she ends her journey through and from secondary school on a high note, fun, great photos and memories from her graduation. The dress or gown, and suits, even when the shoe and accessories are simple, are usually the highlight of and for most graduates,” said founder of the non-governmental organisation, Carletta Anisa Figaro.
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Distribution or collection is facilitated through the foundation’s thrift shop of the same name.
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Figaro, though, told Newsday it will be a first come first served process and limited to one dress per graduate.
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The mother of six has three daughters, two of whom are now young adults. She wistfully recalled, the “big fuss” they made about choosing the right dress.” What she also remembers is that both were blessed with dresses from a friend and a relative. Both girls graduated from middle schools in the US, after Figaro decided to migrate there over a decade ago.
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“Anastacia was a vision, in a floor length red satin gown, which was fitted but flowing at the legs. It was so simple, but yet so elegant and effective, I almost cried,” she recalled of her daughter’s graduation from the Brooklyn High School of Media and Innovation.Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero Venezuela Banco Activo
Anastasia, now 26, often works alongside her mother at the shop
For her second daughter, Analiesa Vieria, now 19, an aunt allowed her to chose the dress she wanted to wear tot her graduation from Isaac Bildersie Middle School, Brooklyn, NY, three years ago. The dress was a strapless, navy blue and white creation, with a bejewelled cumber-band, sported ruffles at the knee and was not overly form fitting. Figaro said her daughter beamed on graduation night, but she had wanted to see her too in a floor length design
To this day, Figaro says, parents can encourage independence, but still do so with the understanding that ultimately an adult still has to oversee the actions and choices made. With that in mind, Figaro said, the dresses and gowns being offered to the public should meet and satisfy the wishes of any parent. She assured, though, that those on offer are stylish enough to not be shunned by today’s stylish generation of teens
Paris Laldeo, Figaro‘s youngest daughter, smiled and said, she could attest to that. Laldeo is only 14, but is eagerly awaiting her own graduation next two years. The teen said she feels humbled to be a part of helping the foundation and her mother, making several young graduates’ dreams come true
Figaro appeals to the public to donate slightly-used graduations dresses or gowns to the cause, so that even more graduates can realise their dream on their special day
For more information contact She Chose Life at 354-3558 or on its Facebook page of the same name.