Seventeen Cover Girl Zoe Damacela Inspires Our Youth One School at a Time

The results from Zoe Damacela’s seven school tour last week have been tremendous.  Through the collaborative effort of YEScarolina (Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina) and Charleston County School District, Zoe Damacela has now visited our town twice, inspiring students at West Ashley High School, St. Andrews Middle, Stall High School, Charleston Math & Science, Wando High School, St. Johns High School and James Island Charter High School.  She even squeezed in a speaking engagement at the College of Charleston’s upper level entrepreneurship class and an appearance at Charleston Fashion Week®.

The feedback from her visit was overwhelming.  Students flooded her Facebook, email and Twitter accounts with their appreciation including:

“… I'm hoping to one day be like you, and make it big in life.  and when finally my dream come true, whenever they ask me who motivated me to do what I wanted to do, my answer will be " My family, My Dream, and The story that motivated me the most, to go follow my dream was, Zoe Damacela."  

"Thank you for being such a motivator for me…”

“Enjoyed you at the high school hopefully my story will be as awesome as yours someday”

“i just wanted to say thanks so much for coming to our school and telling us your story !! It really inspired me to follow my dreams. :)”

"Zoe made me realize that nothing is impossible"

“Thank you so much for coming yesterday! It meant a lot to me. You are like my #1 role model :)”   

“I think you're very special and I have a lot of respect for you. :)  I feel more motivated to do what I want to do in my life.”

Damacela shared with students the adversity she had overcome in her early life.  The daughter of a young single parent, she was homeless for the first 14 years of her life.  When she was ridiculed for her hand-me-down clothing at school, she taught herself to sew and made her own clothes.  Little by little, she started getting orders from friends and neighbors and after taking Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s NFTE (YEScarolia program Partner) business class, Zoe Damacela Apparel was born.  Her clothing line now sells all over the world.

“She was wonderful and the response was AMAZING! I've heard from students and teachers about how much they enjoyed hearing her inspiring story,” Wando High School CTE Instructor, Misty Rohaly. 

" WOW! We have had several speakers this year, but Zoe's message was by far the most powerful we have heard to date.  We are very fortunate that Zoe and Carolina YES partnered for this tremendous program.  Our student body is still buzzing over their visit from Zoe.  Even all the adults that were present were moved by Zoe's story of courage, drive and determination."  St. Johns High School, Mark Epstein

“You could have heard a pin drop in the auditoriums when Zoe was speaking.  Students relate to her and she becomes an instant positive role model for them.  She is a wonderful example of how to take charge of your life and become financially independent through entrepreneurship.”  Jimmy Bailey, Founder and CEO of YEScarolina. 

“After her second successful trip, we have no choice but to bring her back again,” said Bailey.

About Zoe Damacela:  Zoe Damacela has been featured on Oprah’s Angel Network, The Tyra Banks Show, Seventeen Magazine, C-SPAN.  She also has worked with President Obama on the Start Up America initiative.  She is also a guest speaker at the SALT conference alongside President Clinton, President Bush, Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, Al Gore & Sarah Palin.  She is a triple major at Northwestern University.  For more information on Zoe Damacela, visit www.zoedamacela.com

For more information on YEScarolina, visit www.yescarolina.com

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