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We unfortunately are still in the midst of a challenging job economy, and for our inexperienced youth that are just coming out of school, there are even more obstacles to overcome. This is particularly true for the fashion industry where fashion and design opportunities are hard to come by, causing many youth to settle for jobs in retail and merchandising versus aspiring to a C-level executive position.

Our mission at the Over My Shoulder Foundation is Designing the Next Generation, which is our international conversation about the power of Mentorology and the powerful impact that it can have on the lives of our rising youth. There is a great need for mentoring programs in the design industry as a mentor can play an instrumental role in helping to guide an aspiring designer to achieve a budding career.

The Fashion Connoisseur is a Collegiate Scholastic Mentoring (CSM) Initiative, and the mentoring program was established with the intent of helping both youth in the fashion industry aspire to become leaders within their organizations and break through the barriers of entry level positions. Participants in the program will not only receive assistance in meeting professional and academic goals, but will receive valuable guidance that will be beneficial as they grow in their careers.

Sometimes all that our youth, searching for fashion and design opportunities, need is a little encouragement, and a mentor can make all of the difference between a mediocre and a self-satisfying career in the fashion industry. Take the example of Denise Hajjar, who credits the support from her family and close friends to being an integral part to her success as a designer today — and she absolutely loves her career!

To learn more about local mentoring programs or how you can serve as a mentor, please contact me at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.