With the expansion of In True Fashion on the horizon, it is time to pay tribute to the program’s roots. Just over two years ago, In True Fashion commenced its first semester in a classroom at Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Los Angeles, California. To get to that point, founder Nancy Gale commissioned the help of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Upon hearing Nancy describe her concept for In True Fashion and witnessing her mentorship of Kalief Rollins to a first place win at NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Competition, NFTE agreed to organize meetings for Nancy with several schools in the greater Los Angeles area for her to pitch her program to. Nancy’s first meeting was at ECHS, with a teacher named Brandie Cobb. Keen on Nancy’s idea, Brandie voiced her support of the program to the Environmental Charter School group’s founder and executive director, Alison Suffet-Diaz, as well as ECHS principal Jenni Taylor. With Brandie as a strong proponent, ECHS agreed to adopt In True Fashion as a pilot program. One semester was all Nancy needed to prove her program’s merit.
Nancy describes ECHS as a school focused on innovation. As a college preparatory school, ECHS embraces In True Fashion as curriculum that supplements the core values that the school aims to instill in its students – creativity, strategic and critical thinking, and as emphasized by In True Fashion, entrepreneurialism.
ECHS has also been a noteworthy pioneer in the “green” movement, upholding their commitment as an environmentally conscious school. They started the Green Ambassador’s Institute, a project-based educational program that utilizes the environment as a context for interdisciplinary learning. ECHS was also a finalist in President Obama’s Race to the Top challenge.
In spite of growth, In True Fashion will remain based out of ECHS, its concept school. In True Fashion is immeasurably grateful to ECHS for being such a supportive force behind the program.