SHAKOPEE, Minn. (KMSP) - You wouldn't often think of school district offices as the place for a girls' clothing boutique, but that's exactly what's happening in Shakopee, where a little extra space is making a big difference for at risk girls.
“This was dream of mine since I was 10," said Grace Myler. “It’s kinda playing out and I’m going to be turning 16 years old this year.”
Myler first saw a commercial for Threads for Teens on the Disney Channel when she was just 10 years old. Now years later, Myler and her mom have opened one of just two permanent Threads for Teens boutiques in the country.
From the moment, Xsayanna Cuellar stepped inside she realized Threads for Teens has more to offer than expected.
“They have a lot of stuff jewelry, shoes, shirts, dresses, shorts, jeans - they had it all," said Cuellarr, a senior at Tokata Learning Center, an alternative High School in Shakopee. “It's like a mall here in school!”
Nominated by a teacher, social worker, or any adult in their lives, roughly 100 girls from across the metro made appointments when Threads for Teens had pop-up locations last fall. Now within just the past month of having a permanent space, they've already helped dress close to 50 girls, who come to pick from the racks for free. On Friday, eight young ladies shopping were from Tokata.
“In our program we have students that have all sorts of challenges that get in the way of their learning,” said Tokata principal, Eric Serbus. “Sometimes students are coming to school dressed the same day after day and it's a chance to take that out of equation for learning for a little bit.”
Myler has been able to partner with stores, including Rue 21, so 90 percent of the donated items on the racks are brand new.
“I think really leveling the playing field at high school and letting every girl feel her very best. She's in an outfit she's going to look her best in, but conquer the world in,” said Myler. “Clothing isn't just about looking pretty. I really think clothing is a a tool for empowerment.”
On Friday, with extra help from classmates at her Southwest Christian High School, a day of service turned into a shopping spree - judging by the smiles
“It was a little more than I expected, it was fun too,” said tenth grader Alicia Mason. “Someone telling me I look good was a confidence boost.”
If there is someone you would like nominate for the Threads for Teens program or if you'd like to donate click here. You can follow them on Facebook here.