In elementary school, Emerson Kobak was the target of bullies.
“I was really short. I wore glasses. People just weren’t nice,” Emerson recalls.
The result, she says, was that “for so long I didn’t feel like I had a voice. I was always nervous about speaking. I worried that whatever I said was wrong.”
Middle school — with its intense social pressure — was even worse.
Looking back, she says, if she saw someone sitting alone during lunch, she’d go over and join them.
“One act of kindness can change a whole life,” she says.
When Emerson entered Staples 3 years ago, she looked around for kindred spirits. She founded the Fashion For a Cause Club with like-minded designers. On weekends she studied drawing and sewing at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
As a sophomore, Emerson joined Kool To Be Kind. Last year she discovered the Anti-Defamation League. Emerson co-wrote the introduction to a schoolwide “Truth About Hate” assembly, then spoke at it. She also addressed Staples’ school climate assembly.
The girl who was once afraid to speak up had found her voice.
That voice — and Emerson’s drive to fight bullying — has found an important outlet, thanks to her passion for fashion. Her 2nd annual “Fashion For a Cause” show is set for this Sunday (September 24, 5 p.m., Toquet Hall).
Emerson will show one collection. Fellow senior Alessandra Nagar will show another. Students will model all outfits — all of which were created by club members. There’s also live music by a Staples band, and food from local restaurants.
Proceeds benefit Stomp Out Bullying, a national non-profit.
This is Emerson’s 2nd “Fashion for a Cause.” Last year’s event raised over $8,000 for Dress for Success.
Bully for Emerson Kobak!
(For tickets to “Fashion for a Cause,” and more information, click here.)