PROVIDENCE — After a few days in the classroom discussing of the gift of their femininity through the study of Saint John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” 38 girls from grades 9-12 at St. Patrick Academy in Providence were visited by representatives from W By Worth, a New York based fashion company seeking to empower the young women with a donation of stylish and modest clothing.
Monica Anderson, Regional Director of W By Worth, spoke to the girls about the importance of dressing with dignity and choosing a wardrobe that will help them to look and feel their best, sparking new confidence for future academic and employment interviews.
“I can’t tell you how much we all enjoyed working with the girls at St. Pats,” she said. “They were kind, humble, polite, patient and grateful.”
The representatives from W By Worth only had a small window of time to help the girls find pieces that fit, but Anderson shared that they waited patiently for their attention.
“I don’t think I have ever seen so many high school girls together with so much poise,” she said. “I think it is a credit to the school for the values they are teaching. I received a beautiful card signed by all the girls with individual notes as to how much they enjoy and appreciate the clothes.”
After each teenager enthusiastically searched through the racks of dozens of blouses, blazers, skirts and suits, Anderson said that seeing the girls look in the mirror dressed in their new outfit with beaming smiles was thrilling.
“This will help me present myself in the best way and give a good first impression,” said sophomore Nayeli Soriano, after choosing a few new outfits.
“It’s really nice,” said senior Alesen Jajou, who added that she loves all of the W By Worth fashions. “It’s important for others to see us as modest young ladies.”
Kelci Marasco, a junior, said that she felt “alive” in her new outfit.
“I’ve never had something so bright before,” she said. “This is a wonderful thing for us girls at St. Patrick Academy.”
Diane Holden, development director, explained that the school was chosen to receive this donation after Ted Garrahy, a strong supporter of St. Patrick Academy, suggested to Anderson that the young women of St. Patrick would be the perfect fit.
Holden is hopeful that the generous donation of beautiful professional attire will help the girls walk confidently into future job interviews and many other special occasions.
“I didn’t want this to just be a transaction, I wanted it to transform the girls,” she said. “It stimulated discussion about who they were and how they look and it was a joyful day for all of us. That day it was reinforced, and for some of them they realized it for the first time, that they are beautiful. It was profound for me.”
She explained that through the media and often in their community, young women today receive many mixed messages about how they should dress.
“With plunging necklines and bare skin, young women are seen as objects and rather than sacred beings,” she said. “We wanted to show them what it means to be feminine and modest and how to be the best women that they can be.”
“It was an exciting experience for them,” said Holden. “They never thought they could wear something so elegant. This experience gave them a mature look, but still made them feel young and beautiful. Monica brought out their inner and outer beauty.”