Afua Sam, the creative designer behind Studio D’Maxsi, believed her success and achievements were not complete until she’s had the chance to influence the lives of others, especially young children and women. It is for this reason she founded Afua’s Foundation with a mission to empower women and young people. The foundation’s first major initiative known as “Operation Prom”, seeks to make prom a memorable event for a very special high school senior. Afua personally designs a prom dress to be worn by a deserving senior.
May 24th, 2012 was a night to remember for Largo Senior High School student Jasmine Green. Just like a fairy-tale, she put on her gold slippers to match the gold trim in her custom-made dress. With her hair done by celebrity stylist Charlene Brown and her makeup done by Felicia Gray, she was ready. Jasmine headed to her prom, high couture style.
It wasn’t luck or a random draw that gave Jasmine such a special night. She earned it. Through her 3.4 GPA and her essay, she deserved it. Read her winning essay below:
Fashion Limited to No defining Standards
Access granted! Many people never grasp how special life is itself. We take things for granted everyday not realizing everyday is an opportunity to love, care, and acknowledge God. When I was eight years old, my father passed away and motionless thoughts passed through my mind. What was I going to do? I always had my mom and dad by my side! My father couldn’t leave us, No not like this? The endless notations of questionable answers had driven me to be somber. My father and I were never separated for we were like peanut butter and jelly. After my father’s death, my mother began to get very sick and my sister went to college. Since my father passed and my sister was off to pursue a greater education, I had to take care of my mother. I went to the grocery store, paid bills, and took care of the cooking. At that present moment, I had misunderstood what love really was. I didn’t like to handle the “grown up stuff.” I wanted to go outside and run around until I was tired. Still holding on to the memory of my father, I continuously prayed that God would save my mother and wouldn’t take her away.
Needless, to say life had just begun for change was yet to come. Four years later, my mother passed and my mindset as a twelve year old girl had been tremendously revolted. I look back at the moments with my mom and wish I could have done it better. No words in the world could ever explain how much I miss my parents; however, I am still blessed. The obstacles in my life seemed like I wouldn’t see the break of dawn. I would have never thought I would have made it this far. The gratefulness that has taken over my life of appreciating having those appointed people in my life will be shared. I have no doubt in my mind that becoming responsible, outgoing, and creative will inspire people to be grateful also. I will be graduating from high school with a 3.4 grade point average, and I am determined to become the best I can be in all areas of life. Whether it’s developing relationships with people or just giving back.
Limitless dreams cross my mind every day. I look at everything as if there are no limits for I can have anything I put my awe-inspiring mind to with hard work and dedication. This journey allowed me to obtain a different view of the world. I realized even more that there is so much more in the world than this circle of life, that peoples hopes and dreams fail to maintain. Yes, there was plenty of times I wished my mom and dad would come to a cheerleading competitions or a softball game; nevertheless, I can not dwell on what my past maintains. I can only consider what my future contains. The fact that I had to depend on the people left in my life required me to identify what I really want in this world. Independence! It was then that I realized that I was capable of reaching my goal- earning a college degree and having a career in Business Management while pursuing a minor in Fashion Design or Environmental studies.
When I step foot on that special campus, I will not only bring my caring spirit but I will be able to share my story with my fellow students. I want to inspire those who have their parents to be appreciative and for those who don’t, they have to be the strongest they can be. For the time will come, someone in the future generation will need my story to help them through their obstacles in life. Through my experience, I have learned to be strong in order to survive. I want to use my strengths to support others going through the same things that I went through and educate them in substantial ways. Ultimately, I would like to own my own boutique and start a scholarship foundation for children just like me whose parents have passed away. Fashion design creates an escape mechanism for my heart, which allows me to express simple ideas on pieces of fabric. I will be gladly ready to obtain the fashion that will not limit to defining standards.