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Model Keziah Bernier walks in ANATHA’s fashion show at the first annual Women in Business Empower Her Pop Up Festival, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture. The organization’s second fashion show will be held at their Mom and Me brunch Sunday at Crusaders in William’s Delight, St. Croix.

Models in training will strut their stuff on the catwalk for Mother’s Day for the Mom and Me Fashion Show and Brunch during the closing ceremony for ANATHA’s six-week youth modeling enrichment program.

ANATHA (A New Approach To Helping Adolescents) is a nonprofit organization created by Grace King serving the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix since 2015. On Sunday, participants will be rewarded with certificates for completing the modelling program from 1 to 4 p.m. at Crusaders in William’s Delight on St. Croix.

The event not only closes out this six-week professional youth empowerment modeling program, but also honors mothers in the community who have made a notable sacrifice. The event will also include a saxophonist and singers. Members of the organization who are chefs will cater the event.

A total of 24 models, coached by Andre Etienne from Shades of the Caribbean, will participate, both male and female, with ages ranging from 9 to 25. Evening wear, resort wear, casual wear and swimwear will be shown.

This is ANATHA’s second fashion show this year. The first was a cultural catwalk for the first annual Women in Business Empower Her Pop Up Festival, in collaboration with the Agriculture Department in March.

ANATHA’s goal is to empower at risk youths to become well-rounded citizens within the community. According to King, who also works at the University of the Virgin Islands with the 4-H program, cultural activities, history, art, modeling, music and performing arts are all electives that have been proven to aid students in self-esteem and character development. This newfound confidence is also shown to positively affect a student’s academic life.

Several other programs are planned for the remainder of 2021. A summer school for fashion design and sewing, a cultural drawing and crafting class, a dance program and a photography class are all scheduled. A Christmas event with a live Christmas tree, singing and musicians will be held in conjunction with Onyx Opera.

The final event of the year will be a Supporting Families program focusing on pregnant teens, offering career guidance, parenting skills and “skills to pay the bills.”

“The most rewarding thing for me is seeing when they start, how timid they are, how shy and reserved they are, and then seeing them in these different arts, whether it’s modeling or drawing, and they just become a totally different person,” said King. “You know they have the potential to break it out a bit over time and when they do, that’s enough for me to say ‘this is a job well done.’ That’s the joy I get from it.”

The Mother’s Day event is also an ANATHA fundraiser. Tickets are $50, which includes brunch. For more information, call 340-422-0124.