At-risk youth show their creativity through clothes for the McDonald’s fashion challenge

SALISBURY, Md. – “And we wanted to create an opportunity for them that was unique. Something that would give them a degree of empowerment and engagement so that their voice could be heard in a unique way, said McDonald’s representative/organizer Barbara Thompson.

Local McDonald’s owners, Coca-Cola, and retailer DTLR gave nearly 20 children here on the east coast the opportunity of a lifetime. Young people were given the chance to show off their fashion sense – inspired by McDonald’s new frozen Coca-Cola and Fanta flavours.

Each child received a $350 gift card to shop until they drop. “For many of the people who have come in to support this effort, either their first generation students came from single parent backgrounds or have their own struggles. We can identify with where they are,” Thompson said.

“Each of our communities believe that DTLR is there in the community because the people who are in the store with them and who work with them are authentic to their culture and lifestyle,” said Brittany Leigh, DTLR’s brand marketing manager.

The fashion challenge supports organizations that make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth, such as local non-profit Building Mosaic Solutions. “Fashion is most important to our youth. They love to switch,” Building Mosaic Solutions President Dr. Darlene Jackson-Bowen.

“Other big cities get such chances, and we don’t. So here on the lower eastern shore, we are grateful that they would even consider pouring into our youth.”

We had the chance to speak to McKenna Selby, who chose the blue raspberry flavor as her inspiration. She tells us that blue is her favorite color. “I would describe my sense of style as chill or lazy. I put on sweatpants, converse and a random hoodie half the time, Selby said.

“It means a lot to have an organization that comes out and gives a bunch of kids just like me an opportunity to express our creativity.”

McDonald’s representative Barbara Thompson says these kids are getting more than just a new pair of kicks or a coat. She says they reach them where they are to hopefully have a lasting impact. “We’re not just here for a moment, we have commitments to be in the community 365,” Thompson said.

Attendees also received free accessories and gifts from DTLR to complete their outfits.

The fashion challenge also visited Baltimore and DC over the weekend.

To find out more about Building Mosaic Solutions, click here

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