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Beyond The Runway: Dresses Inspire San Diego Girls Ahead Of Valentine’s Day

Middle school girls at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego Encanto B...

Photo by Ebone Monet

Above: Middle school girls at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego Encanto Branch taken on February 9, 2018.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

A group of San Diego girls received a gift and a challenge Wednesday after a nonprofit called Believe in Yourself visited the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego Encanto Branch. The organization’s founder, Sam Sisakhti, donated new designer dresses to more than a dozen middle school age girls.

Jessica Barajas is the manager of the Encanto branch.

“I’ve been with organization for close to 10 (years)," said Barajas. "It’s been the best time of my life, honestly.”

Barajas says the girls will wear the dresses to a Valentine’s dance next week.

“A lot of the families struggle day to day. They’re living paycheck to paycheck and unfortunately a lot the young people are suffering because of that,” said Barajas.

Photo by Ebone Monet

Believe in Yourself gifts girls with dresses for the Valentine's Day dance taken on February 7th, 2018.

Sisakhti is an entrepreneur who launched Ustrendy.com 10 years ago. He got the idea to create Believe in Yourself after noticing some of his customers, who shared images of themselves, were on the receiving end of online bullying. He says Believe in Yourself is a program designed to empower young women to build up their self-esteem.

“Anything that you can do that is positive, that can maybe push someone toward pursuing their dream, to maybe put a smile on their face, it feels incredible and I’ve been blessed to meet so many amazing people through the process. I’ve been blessed. It’s been awesome,” said Sisakhti.

Sisakhti has brought his dress donation program to low income communities across the country.

He’s planning more stops in San Diego. Sisakhti encouraged the girls to set two short-term goals. He plans to follow-up with Barajas and send two more dresses to the girls who meet their goals.

Believe in yourself just received its 501c status. Click here for more information about making a donation or signing up to become a mentor.

Video by Katie Schoolov

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