Believe in Yourself: why dresses matter for education

This charity project looks to teach girls body positivity through beautiful clothes

Believe in Yourself: why dresses matter for education

Dresses may seem like a superficial and consumerist subject to worry about, but not having a dress that fits properly and that looks good may stop girls from attending school events. This is why founders of the Believe in Yourself Project set out to fill this need in American girls’ lives:

“The Believe in Yourself Project is an American 501c3 non-profit charity organization dedicated to providing brand-new, unworn designer dresses for girls to wear at school functions. Many teen girls are up against unobtainable social standards placed upon them-which are not just unhealthy, but often times unaffordable. In an effort to close this gap, The Believe In Yourself Project is dedicated to the gainful advancement and empowerment of young women with a gift of confidence”.

How do they do it?

According to their website: “The Believe in Yourself Project goes into community centers, after-school programs, and low-income housing centers and provide designer dresses for underprivileged girls to wear at upcoming school dances. At the same time, we promote positive body image through mentoring and speakers”.

Why does it matter?

We have all heard that education also happens beyond the classroom. But what if someone would want to attend an after school event and was unable to because they had nothing to wear? Socially, this could truly put a strain in a student’s life. The Believe in Yourself Project looks to allow girls from difficult socio economic backgrounds to participate, like any other student.

This way, they empower them to believe that they can do anything, and be part of what they wish to be part of, regardless of where they come from: “The aim is to promote a positive body image and healthy self esteem among young women at an early age, empowering these young girls to feel good about themselves and to take on active social roles within their school communities”.

The project stems from the belief that women can be empowered if they feel beautiful, which in turn helps them become leaders in their communities: “The Believe in Yourself Project believes that all women are beautiful and that all girls should feel confident and good about themselves. Finances or body insecurities should never stand in the way. By providing designer dresses to underprivileged girls and promoting a positive body image, we hope to build confidence in these girls at an early age”.

An impact beyond the dance floor

The Believe in Yourself Project has stated in a press release that their work goes beyond the dress: “Dress donations are tied to the girls’ progress in achieving goals. Each girl receives their first dress based on need and from there they are entered into a system where they are then tracked to see their progress, whether towards improving their academics or pursuing an extracurricular interest such as music, dance, sports, etc. and Believe in Yourself provides the girls dresses for any upcoming events they have during the school year”.

Educationally, this is where the value of their work truly lies. Empowered girls pursue their goals and become empowered women who can, in the future, change the world.
 

Latin American Post | Laura Rocha Rueda

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