I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to hold monthly styling sessions for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Poplin styling sessions are limited to the youth in the Barista Training Program, who are in this eight week program to learn everything you need to know to be a Barista including customer service, job skills and life skills. You can learn more about the program here.
Over the last few years, I've noticed the population changing. And, I'm doing my best to change with them. Last year we saw more young women who were pregnant. So, we offered assistance with clothes that are appropriate for job interviews but also practical as your body changes. This year, I've been really amazed at how the younger generation sees gender in such a fluid way. I've tweaked the sessions to included an opportunity for attendees to identify their pronouns (she/her, he/him or they/them). I've learned a lot.
I've also had the extraordinary experience of repeatedly helping trans youth transitioning from male to female. This one has really had an impact on me. Nationally, LGBTQ youth are estimated to be about 40% of the homeless population. I'm especially proud of ISIS House, a transitional living house designed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth and their straight allies. It's the only one in Washington state and one of the few programs like it in the nation. YouthCare never disappoints.
During these sessions, I'm struck by the lessons that trans youth have to teach the rest of us. So, as your very own personal stylist, I'm passing these learnings along.