Jennielee Hilario to attend Temple University to study fashion journalism after graduating valedictorian – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local high school graduate has gone from podcaster to fashionista to valedictorian. It’s Focus on the Future this week.
This high school graduate may have come from humble beginnings. But it was the brotherly love and affection she found in Philadelphia that gave her the confidence to pursue her dreams.
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In the historic district of Old City Philadelphia, a small cobblestone street leads to the Evolve House.
“Evoluer is a French word, which means to evolve,” said Eva Blackwell.
This is the story of Jennielee Hilario.
“Schools were closing,” Hilario said. “My parents lost their jobs. We saw nothing more to stay there.
Hilario shared her family’s story of leaving Puerto Rico as a contributor to the “Girl Truth” podcast.
Four years later, she graduated at the top of her class as valedictorian. Now this Evolve girl is focused on the future, encouraging young women to do the same. But for her, it started in those seats with a daily affirmation.
“I am strong,” she said. “I’m confident. I’m beautiful, I’m fierce, I’m an Evolve girl.
“Not everyone takes into consideration what a young girl, a Latina like me, has to say,” Hilario said.
“A lot of the girls coming into the program, who are mostly black and brown girls, their self-esteem levels aren’t that high,” Blackwell said.
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Every summer, the Evolve house organizes a nine-week personal and development course called “Holistic Me”. It is aimed at young women between the ages of 13 and 18. This year they’re giving out over a dozen scholarships, and you never know who might come.
“Hello darlings, it’s your daughter Vivica Fox,” said Fox, who shared some final words at the end of last year’s program.
“Keep hustling, creating your own path and driving towards your destiny,” she added.
And Jenielee is well on her way in fashion.
“Fashion has always been part of my life,” Hilario said.
Hilario gifted CBS3’s Wakisha Bailey a cool headband she made. She is delighted to wear it this summer.
She will be attending Temple University this year with a focus on fashion journalism.
If you know a young woman between the ages of 13 and 18 who is interested in enrolling at Maison Evouler, click here for more information.
Do you know an exceptional high school student who deserves to be recognized? Let us know by filling out the form below and we can select the student to feature in our “Focusing on the Future” series.
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