Foundation Academies‘ Darae Grizzle, FA Collegiate Class of 2022, and HomeWorks Trenton won a national sneaker design competition with a shoe celebrating Black and Brown girls in colors reflecting their diverse skin tones. “Darae is a deep thinker and a quiet advocate,” said FA Collegiate Principal Isabel Goss. “We are so proud to see her creativity and leadership recognized. Now I have to buy a pair of those shoes before supplies run out!” Darae, a senior at FA Collegiate, will attend Montclair State University next year, majoring in communications and African studies. “Black and Brown women have to be heard,” Darae said. “The shoe represents all the different voices of black and brown women.” Over the past year, HomeWorks Trenton (with the support of Grounds For Sculpture) participated in Teach For America’s The Reinvention Lab and Ninety Nine Products’ “The Future of Learning Sneaker Competition.” Darae, a Homeworks scholar peer leader, partnered with Homeworks students and staff to create and pitch the design of the winning sneaker. The colors reflect the diverse skin tones of Black and Brown women and the belief that the Future of Learning is inclusivity, specifically where Black and Brown girls are celebrated and affirmed in their identities and can take ownership of their own learning. “The idea behind the sneaker is that the future of learning is Black and Brown girls,” Darae explained. “We want more black and brown girls to be teachers, to be working in STEM, to ow they can do whatever they want.” Darae joined Homeworks Trenton, a free, after-school residential program, before entering high school as a way to prepare for college life in the dorm. She also valued the emphasis on reading enrichment and the focus on empowering young women of color. Today, Darae mentors younger girls as a peer leader. “We are each different people,” Darae says. “But when we work together, what comes out is absolutely beautiful.” The M2S is a limited edition sneaker, with only 1,200 available worldwide. Shoes are available now for purchase. Homeworks is also offering a chance to win a pair for a donation of $25 or more.
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