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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Amanda Mitchell and Isis Ruiz are fashion forward

  • History is getting ready to repeat itself.



    In December 2008 Pittsburg High School DECA members Natalie Taylor and Kelsey Matthews, assisted by other members, put on Project Runway, a successful fashion show.

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  • History is getting ready to repeat itself.
    In December 2008 Pittsburg High School DECA members Natalie Taylor and Kelsey Matthews, assisted by other members, put on Project Runway, a successful fashion show.
    Now PHS juniors Isis Ruiz and Amanda Matthews are gearing up for the Runway Fashion Show, scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.
    They are also members of DECA, an international organization aimed at students with an interest in marketing, management and entrepreneurship.
    “We started working on this in November,” Ruiz said. “The girl who did it two years ago is now in college and came in to talk to us. We started recruiting models and we talked to Angie Loughmiller at Jean Scene.”
    “Angie has helped us a lot,” Mitchell said.
    The 2008 fashion show was held in the PHS auditorium, and Ruiz and Mitchell first thought they would do the same with the Runway Fashion Show.
    “Then we decided we’d open it up to the whole community and have it at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium,” Ruiz said.
    The show will consist of prom gowns, all supplied by Jean Scene and shown by 25 to 30 models.
    “The girls will practice walking today and Wednesday at Jean Scene,” Ruiz said Tuesday. “On Thursday we’ll leave school at 1 p.m. and go to Memorial Auditorium to practice with the music and lights, basically have like a dress rehearsal before the fashion show.”
    This not the first time Ruiz and Mitchell have worked together on a DECA event.
    “We went to Leavenworth to a mini-competition to give us an idea of what state is like,” Mitchell said. “We did hospitality management and we were fourth.”
    “This was our first time, so we were super-excited,” Ruiz said. “We had to do a role play, with someone giving us a situation we had to deal with.”
    “We had to come up with a solution,” Mitchell said.
    “Then, after that, we had to take a 100-question test,” Ruiz added.
    If their fourth rating had been earned at the actual state competition, they would have been eligible to attend the international competition.
    “On March 4, 5 and 6 we’re going to a three-day DECA event at Shawnee Mission and we’ll do a presentation on the fashion show,” Mitchell said.
    A good showing at state would enable them to advance to the international level event at Salt Lake City, Utah.
    “We want to take this to internationals,” Mitchell said. “It’s ridiculous how much we want to go to internationals.”
    Admission to the fashion show is $1 at the door, and those who wish may contribute more.
    “This is a DECA project, and all money we raise will go to DECA,” Ruiz said. “It will pay for kids to go to state.”
    Page 2 of 2 - She enjoys business-related classes, and in her freshman year took the PHS entrepreneurship class and presented a business plan on opening a restaurant.
    “I’m not for sure I want to open my own restaurant, but I still like these classes and do well in them,” Ruiz said.
    “My dream business would be to own a thrift store, a really nice, high-end thrift store on Broadway, with a coffee shop in it,” Mitchell said.
    Whatever career path they choose, PHS DECA sponsor Linda Garrow believes their experience in the organization will be a plus for them because it teaches skills that are applicable in a wide variety of areas.
    “DECA helps students to develop skills for successful business careers, build self-esteem, experience leadership and practice community service,” Garrow said.

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