Eagle River Youth Coalition Youth Leader Spotlight: Battle Mountain senior Jada Harrisingh
Special to the Daily
Hard work pays off. Period. Ask Jada Harrisingh, a senior at Battle Mountain High School. At the time of my interview with Jada, she was prepping for another interview — one with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. A week later, she informs me she has been accepted to this prestigious fashion school in California.
This was her “reach,” as she put it, where she truly wants to go to college. Jada left nothing to chance. She began working on her reach in her sophomore year. Jada contacted the Fashion Institute and started on the path to securing her future. This included planning and implementing a local project to be submitted to the Fashion Institute as part of the application process.
Battle Mountain fashion club
With support from her Battle Mountain adviser Ms. Moore, Jada applied for a $400 Fashion Institute grant to start a fashion club at Battle Mountain. The fashion club enhances Jada’s chances of being awarded a Fashion Institute scholarship. With 15 members to date, the club is planning a kids’ holiday fashion show, as well as participation in Project Funway. In addition to this project, Jada had to submit an essay, letters of recommendation and an art portfolio to gain entrance into the Fashion Institute.
So what does Jada do when she’s not sketching, knee deep in street and couture fashion? (Street and couture fashions are her favorite, by the way.) She runs cross-country, runs track and works some more, currently encouraging and creatively serving the kids at the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District.
“Jada is incredible. She is very creative and puts a lot of passion in her work. She is always coming up with great ideas to improve our programs,” said Karen Nolasco, Jada’s supervisor and WECMRD Field House assistant manager. “She has started our first-ever fashion design class here at WECMRD and will now be planning for more art classes.”
Jada is also a birthday party host, a camp counselor, helps with tumble toss and teaches archery. When asked how she feels about working with kids, Jada said, “I like it because it’s interesting what kids say and do. They also look up to you.”
Jada has invested time in her local community and school, staying focused on her college aspirations and making good on her dreams. Jada dreams of traveling, backpacking across Europe and volunteering with kids in Africa. She has boosted her resume and skill set with involvement in AVID, Girl PowHER, Communities that Care and Walking Mountains Science Center.
Jada smiles warmly when she mentions her family and cultural influences. Her mom, Tracey, and sister, Shante, are her most loyal, local supporters. Mom has preserved Jada’s clothing sketches since Jada was 5 years old. Jada’s grandmother is a dressmaker in Jamaica and her aunt, according to Jada, is “really into fashion.”
A new fashion style business will be expanding to the Vail Valley after its startup flourishes in California. The name is yet to be determined, but I’m proud to say I know the future owner. — Jada Harrisingh.
Gloria Cueva is the collaborative management program coordinator at Eagle River Youth Coalition.
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