Program hopes to help young people, businesses

Miesha Gleaves (from left), Isabella Gassen, Acacia Gleaves, Jimmieka Acosta-Orange and Star Thomas will be participating in a talent and fashion show being put on by the Johnson Youth Organization. The talent and fashion show will be held at the Maxwell Theatre at Georgia Regents University in January. The event will be the first of what founder Tara Johnson hopes will become an annual event.



Mieshia Gleazes is looking forward to getting a new hairstyle, while Jimmieka Acosta-Orange is hoping to dress in the most up-to-date fashions.

But first, both will have to audition Saturday to participate in the Johnson Youth Organization’s Hair and Fashion Show, which will be held at Georgia Regents University’s Maxwell Theatre on Jan. 25.

The girls will audition for two of more than 100 modeling spots in the show. The model search, which is open to anyone ages 13 to 28, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gracewood Community Center on Tobacco Road.

Tara Johnson, founder of the Johnson Youth Organization, is presenting the show to let young people perform and to give small businesses a way to showcase their products and services.

“We want to give the youth a platform to showcase their talent, along with providing something safe and fun for them to do in a positive environment,” Johnson said. “We also wanted to show unity in working together with other small-business owners in the CSRA.

‘‘We believe by collaborating together we will show support to each other through advertising and promoting our businesses.”

Dominion Hair Salon and Barber will provide hair styling for the models, while small boutiques such as Unlimited Trends and Upgrade Fashions will provide the clothes.

Anyone not chosen to model this year will get a chance to model next year, Johnson said. She plans to turn the show into an annual event.

“We want to make sure that everybody has a chance to be a part of the show,” she said. “If they don’t get it this time, they’ll get it next time.”

Models can be any shape, size or ethnicity, and male models are needed as well.

“We want diversity,” she said. “No experience is needed.”

During transition periods, youths will showcase other talents, such as singing and dancing, while the next phase of the fashion show is being prepared.

Johnson said she is still looking for vendors, store owners and designers who want to participate.

“We want it to be an overall community environment,” she said.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the Johnson Youth Organization, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that Johnson began in 2002 to offer mentoring, life skills and activities for young men and women in the community. The fashion show is an example of that mission.

Gleazes said she is looking forward to seeing the young people display their talents.

“When you know you have talent, and you get done singing and everybody recognizes you and your talent, it gives you a warm feeling and makes you want to go out and do something about it,” she said. “That’s the part I’m looking forward to, to see everybody show off their talents.”



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