Allyson Ahlstrom: 2012 Honoree
A bubbly and fashion forward self-starter, senior Allyson Ahlstrom of Santa Rosa, Calif., combined her love of fashion and community service to create Threads for Teens, an organization that collects and distributes clothing to disadvantaged teen girls while giving them a boutique shopping experience! She believes that by showing these girls that people want them to have the best and feel their best, they can increase self-esteem and confidence, and help them find the inspiration to pursue their future goals. If they feel like their best, they'll strive for the best.
Starting with just an idea, Ahlstrom initially reached out to over 300 clothing companies and brands for donations. There was an overwhelming positive response and the organization quickly grew from her parents' living room into a storefront location. Within two years, Ahlstrom moved Threads for Teens to a permanent pink boutique which has over 30 teen volunteers. Allyson uses local social workers and counselors to identify girls who would most benefit from these new outfits and books one-on-one appointments almost every day while still continuing to bring in donations.
To date, Ahlstrom has raised over $130,000 in product donations and outfitted over 200 girls. With the hope of inspiring girls to go after their dreams, she provides individual support by bonding over fashion, talking about their lives and sharing motivational advice. A few girls were so moved by their shopping experience that they've come back to volunteer at the boutique. Ahlstrom is planning a summer 2013 "Threads for Teens on Tour" where she is going to transform a semi-truck into a boutique that will travel to 48 states including Washington DC, outfitting at least 20 girls in each city, with the goal of outfitting a total of 1,000 girls.
For more information on Threads for Teens, click here.
Allyson Ahlstrom: 2012 Honoree Videos
- 2012 HALO Awards: Teen Profile: Allyson Ahlstrom and Tyra Banks