Sometimes, when young women are struggling, all they need is a thread of hope to hold on to.
That’s where sophomore Kiana Carlisle comes in.
Together with her friend Emerson, Kiana has launched a nonprofit organization, called A Single Thread, that will provide girls in foster homes with clothes that will give them an outlet to empower themselves and give them the freedom to express themselves through fashion.
“I think clothes are really important for young girls because clothes give kids a sense of identity,” Kiana said. “Everyone has the right to have the proper things to wear.”
The idea originated from a conversation. Emerson McNeil, a Nordhoff junior and former lower student, and Kiana were talking to their parents about clothes drives.
In that moment, it occurred to them that many girls don’t have the money to buy their own clothes and are left to wear whatever clothes they’re provided. That’s when they decided that they needed to do something about it.
The purpose of A Single Thread isn’t just to get clothing donations, but to get donations from other girls who are similar in age. By doing this, girls who can’t afford to buy clothes have the chance to wear ones that fit their personal style.
“It’d be so much more meaningful and personal if girls got clothes from other girls who are around the same age as them,” Kiana said.
Creating the idea was one thing, but executing it was a whole other challenge. Kiana needed to send a number of papers and documents online to the government just to file for non-profit status.
This process was not cheap. In fact, it cost at least a thousand dollars in fees, but Kiana’s mother, Michelle Selka, was all for supporting her daughter’s endeavors.
Mrs. Selka helped Kiana in any way she could: helping her daughter network with people she already knew in non-profits, providing money, and simply giving her the skills to successfully grow her ideas.
But, most importantly, she gave her daughter full support and has been proud of her progress every step of the way.
“I can’t begin to express how proud I am of Kiana,” Mrs. Selka said. “A lot of people want to make a difference but never do, but she cares about making a change and she’s actually going about it.”
Filing for non-profit status was only the beginning. Kiana’s now has to work on getting the word out that this non-profit is truly happening. She’s creating social media to advertise the organization and has been talking with OVS’ assistant headmaster, Crystal Davis, to bring the idea alive at OVS to get girls here to donate.
“We’re still in the process of creating it all,” Kiana said. “But the main form of advertisement we’re going to use is social media, because it’s such a big thing.”
Kiana is taking one small idea and turning it into something that will have a profound impact on girls around Ventura County. She’s also planning on traveling to Costa Rica for the summer to raise money for the poorer communities there.
“We’re going to be bringing them clothes and selling them in the big cities of Costa Rica,” Kiana said. “Then, we’re going to go back to the suburbs where there’s indigenous towns and give them the money that we raised to help them start their own businesses.”
She’s already put so much work into this and hopes that by early April the website and social media will be completely launched.
“There will be young adults around the world that will benefit from this small, selfless contribution,” Mrs. Selka said. “I’m so excited to know that Kiana will be part of our future and making a change for the better.”
A Single Thread Instagram: @asinglethreadShare