Rigo Estrada


Today’s class was graced by the beautiful, powerful and immensely inspiring Diana Derycz-Kessler, CEO of the Los Angeles Film School, former Elite fashion model and Harvard Law graduate. Diana spoke to the students about her journey from poverty and abuse to scholarly and successful. Her message, that the drive to overcome insecurities propels one to success, resonated with the students, many of who could identify with Diana’s upbringing.  Nancy’s Quote of the Day was particularly applicable to Diana’s outlook on life. In the words of Harry Truman, “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”

The rest of class period was spent with the students broken into their teams. One team worked with the mentors establishing their social media presence, another filmed celebrity reach-outs and the third team engaged in one-on-one conversations with the mentors. The common thread from each conversation was, not surprisingly, that the students only wished In True Fashion class was longer! We believe that our class might just be the only one where students don’t clamor to leave when the bell rings for dismissal. Rather, it is an effort to disband!

With only three classes remaining in this semester, the students are eagerly awaiting the unveiling of their finished bags. Meanwhile, the mentors are starting to mourn the thought of going a whole summer without In True Fashion class!


There were a record-breaking fourteen mentors in today’s In True Fashion class.  In addition to the sheer impact in number of mentors, the impact of our two guest speakers left a visible impression, particularly on the females of the class. Entrepreneur Ali Brown who has been featured on ABC’s hit show Secret Millionaire was first to speak, telling her inspiring story of persistence and self-discovery. The students capitalized on Ali’s massive Twitter following, asking her for advice on how to get their voices heard through social media. Next to speak was Paula Golden, Executive Director of Broadcom Foundation. Paula encapsulated her long, successful business career in a nutshell, using most of her time to impart the importance of John Lennon’s words,  “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Though the messages of both women transcended gender lines, there was palpable excitement amongst female students particularly.

As a rebuttal to the students’ common excuse of lacking time to complete assignments, Nancy chose the following for her Quote of the Day. In the words of H. Jackson Brown, Jr., “Do not say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

However, the amount of excuses has reduced remarkably from week to week. In fact, between last week’s class and today occurred what the mentors consider the biggest breakthrough of the semester. Students are stepping up in big ways, taking initiative, taking responsibility for their actions and their lives, and we could not be more proud. If this kind of progress is any indication of the strides that will be made in the remaining weeks of the semester, we can safely say that great things are in store for In True Fashion.


In True Fashion’s mentors are relentless in seeking opportunities for the students. The delectable food in this photo is proof of the lengths they will go to in securing such opportunities! On Sunday, In True Fashion mentor and advisory board member Barbara Bishop took fellow board member Rosalind Ross and founder Nancy Gale to a food festival hosted by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. In attendance was James Trees, a chef at the acclaimed restaurant FIG at the beautiful Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Chef James was sampling various dishes from the restaurant, including butternut squash ravioli with braised short rib, fresh focaccia bread and a panzanella salad with fresh mozzarella cheese. While sampling their delicious food, Nancy and Rosalind took it upon themselves to invite Chef James and FIG’s executive Chef Ray Garcia to come to class. Their invitation was met with a resounding yes! Furthermore, as proof that it never hurts to ask, they were sent home with all the leftover FIG food from the event that would have otherwise gone to waste! Students, you can look forward to meeting the talented chefs from FIG in just a few weeks!


The bidding has officially begun! The first bid was placed by Becky Reese, author of “I’m Married to a Millionaire, So Why am I in Therapy?” and founder of Becky Reese Lifestyle. Becky is a longtime supporter of In True Fashion and has high hopes of securing Team SoPro’s fabulous design.

The winning design will be taken into production and sold to the public as a new addition to the JAMAH Collection. Every time the winning bag is purchased thereafter, a portion of its proceeds will go to Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and Environmental Charter High School.

Additionally, In True Fashion is hosting an online auction for the original team bags. signed by the students. All proceeds will be donated to Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and Environmental Charter High School to support and honor student entrepreneurship. The minimum bid for each bag is $1,000.00. The bags can also be purchased for $5,000.00.

The last day to cast a vote and place a bid will be announced shortly. The winner will be revealed the following day in a celebratory JAMAH trunk show.

Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to support In True Fashion and student entrepreneurship by casting a vote and placing a bid! Spread the word!