At-risk youth showcase their creativity through clothing for McDonald’s fashion challenge

SALISBURY, Md. – “And we wanted to create an opportunity for them that was unique. Something that would give them a degree of empowerment and engagement so that their voice could be heard in a unique way,” McDonald’s Representative/Event Organizer Barbara Thompson said.

Local McDonald’s owners, Coca-Cola, and retailer DTLR gave nearly 20 kids here on the eastern shore an opportunity of a lifetime. Youth were given the chance to showcase their fashion sense – inspired by McDonald’s new frozen Coca-Cola and Fanta flavors.

Each child was given a $350-dollar gift card to shop till they drop. “For many of the folks who’ve come in to support this effort, their either first generation college students, came from single parent home, or have their own struggle story. We can identify with where they are,” Thompson said.

“Each one of our communities believe that DTLR is right there in the community because the folks that are in the store with them and who work with them are authentic to the culture and their lifestyle,” DTLR Brand Marketing Manager Brittany Leigh said.

The fashion challenge supports organizations making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth like local non-profit Building Mosaic Solutions. “Fashion is paramount for our youth. They love to swag,” Building Mosaic Solutions President Dr. Darlene Jackson-Bowen.

“Other big cities get these kinds of chances and we don’t. So here on the lower eastern shore we’re grateful that they would even consider pouring into our youth.”

We got the chance to speak with McKenna Selby, who chose the blue raspberry flavor as her inspiration. She tells us blue is her favorite color. “I would describe my sense of style as like chill or lazy. I throw on sweatpants, converse, and a random hoodie half the time,” Selby said.

“It means a lot to have an organization come out and give a bunch of kids just like me an opportunity to express our creativity.”

McDonald’s representative Barbara Thompson says these kids are getting more than just a new pair of kicks or a coat. She says they’re reaching them where they are to hopefully make a lasting impact. “We’re not just here for a moment, we have commitments to be in the community 365,” Thompson said.

Participants also received free accessories and gifts from DTLR to complete their outfits.

The fashion challenge also visited Baltimore and D.C. over the course of the weekend.

To find out more about Building Mosaic Solutions, click here


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