#MJP2Contest Winner Sarita Witnesses Microcredit at Work in Los Angeles

Katey GorskiEvents, Foundation News

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Congratulations to Sarita for being our #MJP2Contest winner! Her winning entry, pictured on the left, was one of many thoughtful submissions that she entered throughout the contest. Her caption below tells a story of hard work, dedication and creativity that provided an inspiring answer to contest prompt: “What empowers you?”

“Since elementary school, I have always loved art. Being able to create something just made my day better. Just before high school, I realized my love for fashion. The whole process from sketching to sewing to seeing a finished piece intrigued me. There’s nothing quite like seeing something you envisioned in your head come to life. From there I became dedicated to achieving my dream to study fashion. Fashion is an outlet and chance to express myself, or if I’m envisioning a costume idea, the character who it’s inspired by. The creative process empowers me because when I’m finished I can look back and say “I made that” and be proud of all the hard work that I’ve put in. In this picture is a study I did in costume design where I analyzed some of my favorite books and characters. This project means so much to me because I spent months working on it and with some help, I was able to create two dresses that came from my own imagination. Several years ago if you had told me I would be able to do this, I wouldn’t have believed you. Now about six months after finishing that project, I’m studying fashion design at one of the most amazing schools and improving everyday. Art, creativity, and hard work empower me because without them, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.”

Sarita’s beautiful and thoughtful contest entries earned her and her friend Laura a trip to Los Angeles to not only experience the excitement of the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, but also to witness the power of microcredit by having lunch at Susana’s Restaurant. The El Salvadoran food and family atmosphere provided the perfect nourishment and grounding we needed for the big night ahead. Not only did we get to enjoy Susana’s wonderful hospitality, but the Grameen America staff joined us to share the meal and help educate Sarita and Laura about their work in the United States.

Sarita (left) with her friend Laura at Susana's Restaurant

Sarita (left) with her friend Laura at Susana’s Restaurant

Sarita eager to meet the stars and see the film

Sarita eager to meet the stars and see the film

“This trip was undoubtedly one of the best, most wonderful experiences of my life,” says Sarita. “It was so awesome to learn about the great work Whole Planet Foundation does empowering women in one city among many, and see the final premiere of The Hunger Games movies, a franchise which has been a part of my life for four years. This was easily one of the best days of my life and I’m so thankful to Whole Planet Foundation for selecting me as their winner.” We are thankful to have selected a winner who truly understands the mission of our partnership, and took the time during a day full of excitement to also reflect and appreciate the work of microentrepreneurs. Laura adds, “I had the time of my life that weekend and feel so fortunate to have been able to have the experience. It was amazing to see what Whole Planet Foundation does (and eat some delicious food) in person as well as getting to go to the final movie premiere of a franchise that changed my life. I’ll never forget it.” We will never forget our day with Sarita and Laura in Los Angeles. We will certainly be stopping by Susana’s Restaurant next time we are in Los Angeles! Get a glimpse of Susana’s restaurant for yourself in this video about our partnership with Grameen America in Los Angeles, and don’t forget to catch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, in theaters now. And, if you’re in Los Angeles, be sure to visit Susana’s Restaurant.

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