DisclosedNative is committed to building confident young women which is why we are excited about the mission of Pearl School of Modeling. What was the motivation behind founding this organization?
I attended modeling school when I was 15 years old, and it made a tremendous difference in my life. I left having better posture, more confidence in my walk, make-up application skills, and training in dining etiquette.
When I arrived to Atlanta, people requested that I train them in modeling, due to my background as an Ebony Fashion Fair model. I opened Pearl School of Modeling in October of 2014.
How can prospective students register for Pearl School of Modeling? Give us a synopsis of what to expect in the program.
We accept 25 students each year. A student can register during our open enrollment period which is Nov 1 – Dec 1. Afterwards, selected students, are asked to come in for an interview.
The students complete 24 weeks of training in modeling, leadership and entrepreneurship within a year period. 12 weeks in the spring and 12 weeks in the fall. During the summer, we do tours, and pop-up seminars. Students learn the runway, public speaking, and much more. Students are also required to start a business while in the program.
3 years ago, did you see Pearl School of Modeling where it is today?
I really did not know what to expect, when I started PSM, I didn’t have a traditional business plan, I went off a hunch and demand. I am excited that we are growing and impacting so many lives.
How do you feed self-worth into your students?
We teach our students to embrace their natural talents and gifts, and we help them transfer that into a product of service that they can service the community with. We believe that when you contribute to your community with your skills and /or service, it does help feed into someone’s self worth.
Moreover, with modeling, we teach our students to walk with confidence.
Share the greatest turnaround story of one of your students.
Jamison Scout entered our program in Spring of 2016. She was a good student, but several things were going on in the background. When it came time to do an assignment on creating a business, she chose forming a business around anti-bullying. Jamison was physically bullied and her grades were suffering. Since creating her Kindness Rules Anti-Bullying movement, Jamison’s grades have improved, and she is impacting the lives of other young people with her movement.
How do you feel modeling, etiquette training, and the way you present yourself impact personal growth?
It forces you to pay attention to yourself, groom yourself. It’s like self care and self love, and presenting your best self to the world.
Pearl Magazine highlights people who are breaking barriers and accomplishing major feats. Who inspires you most?
We did a story on Drexina Nelson, celebrity photographer, and owner of the Society Studios.
Drexina left her corporate job and went from make-up artist, to celebrity photographer, to founder of the Society Studios, an ultra exclusive production facility, all in one decade. I am insipired by Drexina’s perseverance and ability to execute. She is a visionary and believes in quality.
I talk to a lot of people who are losing their passion for their gift and want to take on an ownership role. Tell us about your transition from fashion modeling to entrepreneurship; how did it come about and what tips do you have for anyone seeking entrepreneurship?
My spirit led me into entrepreneurship. As I learned more about the fashion industry as a model, I learned the business. When I was 24, a mentor told me “If you’re not a supermodel by now, you should probably think about going back to school to get your MBA,” and that’s what I did.
Once I received my MBA, I worked for corporate America for several years and started my own company. You begin to realize that the only way to grow is to start your own thing.
What upcoming projects can we expect to see from you and your organization in the near future?
PSM will be doing more shows in the city [Atlanta], and touring to nearby cities. We are also looking to build our online platform in 2018, so that girls globally can benefit from our program.
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