I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I grew up in a very impoverished community and with that came many challenges. There were many times where I couldn’t participate in certain activities because my family simply couldn’t afford it. It was very difficult to feel left out in these situations, as many of my friends were lucky enough to be able to afford these priviledges.
When I was 17 years old, I left Brazil and move to Europe where my passion for fashion was officially born! I am the former proprietor of two high-end boutiques, Wolford and Giuseppe Zanotti. After so many years in the fashion industry, I finally found a way to use my fashion expertise to make a difference and give back to all community!
Financial constraints put unnecessary burdens on kids and serve to alienate them from the rest of their student body at a time when they most need community at their stage of adolescent development. Giving the Glam attempts to fill this need by giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy their high school prom, regardless of their financial or physical condition. By developing their self-confidence, we prepare these kids for the next chapter in their lives.
Giving the Glam is able to help young financially struggling kids feel included in their high school communities. Far too often these kids are left out of many experiences due to no fault of their own and for them to finally experience this inclusion is an amazing thing to witness. Giving the Glam creates an experience that they will never forget.
While prom season doesn’t come around until May, the Giving the Glam process starts in the first week of January. First, the team helps the candidate choose their tuxedo or dress. The next step is the fitting, and by the middle of March we are done with the fittings and picking of the outfits. From March until April, our team starts accessory hunting, making sure that each candidate is dressed their very best. As May and June come around, the big days finally arrive and the entire Giving the Glam squad comes together for makeup, hair, nails to put the last touches on each outfit! Prom is an unforgettable milestone for these students, and Giving the Glam gives them the opportunity to attend the prom, make life long memories , and build confidence .
Dover / Sherborn High School – 2014
Giving The Glam is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Massachusetts. It was created and established by visionary philanthropist and noted fashionista Maristela Rapo.
Students are selected in coordination with Massachusetts Student Grant Programs including the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) and the Boston Police Department’s District B-3 Community Service Officers.
We deal with young men and women who all come from different backgrounds and are each being faced with unique challenges. Giving The Glam comes into their lives and helps guide and motivate them to overcome their challenges by building their self esteem and by acquiring a newfound confidence to help them create a viable plan for their own future.
Giving The Glam helps financially disadvantaged teens enjoy a their high school prom experience. Each student participant is provided with everything she or he will need to experience their prom in style – gowns, tuxes, accessories, hair and makeup, professional photos, a video, car service to the venue, even a hotel room to get ready for the big event.
But in the end, it’s not so much about the clothes, hair and makeup as it is about the rite of passage. From the young person’s point of view, it’s the opportunity and experience of a lifetime.
Giving The Glam is making a difference in people’s lives.
Perhaps one of last year’s students put it best: “To get compliments was not only nice to hear, but also empowering. It made me feel a new confidence in myself that I never knew I could have. That is exactly how I felt on my prom night…and how I still feel today.”