On February 26, we celebrated the 20 graduates from the Sewing Academy's
winter session, as these hardworking students showed off their fabulous work on the runway. Though some started barely able to thread a needle, the graduates progressed quickly, despite the challenges of COVID, through weekly classes held at Hughes United Methodist Church
They learned foundational sewing skills and grew into proficient sewists. They created exquisite housewares and apparel, functional casual wear, and formal gowns incorporating cultural designs. It was lovely to see each student reflected in their work, whether in the fabric, hue, or different artistic finishes each sewist integrated. Their pride in each other, gliding down the runway, acknowledged the close relationships that nurtured their creative dreams into reality.
The Sewing Academy was so much more than just a place to gain skills; it became a space for students to support each other throughout COVID. This space, co-organized by IMPACT Network Builder Carmen Hernandez, allowed expert, community-based instructors like Edelsa Barrios, Eunice Morales, and Rosa Santiago to share the transformative power of garment construction as a labor of love. Their dedication to each other and their commitment to their craft allowed these students—many mothers, running full households while working, caring for young children, or battling health complications like cancer—to succeed.