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    My name is Yanira Araujo

    At age 17 I became a teenage mom. Unable to complete High School, I decided to obtain a G.E.D. high-school equivalency diploma. I attended a vocational school which allowed me to obtain my G.E.D while training for an office job. At 22 while working for a mental health clinic in queens I decided to go back to school to pursue a career in fashion design.

    I began going to the library on my lunch breaks to pick up books on fashion and bought my first pack of Prismacolor pencils. I would spend weekends sketching. I became aware that FIT offered evening classes so, I decided to sign up for a drawing and sewing class. But was unable to keep up; the classes were too advance for me. I realized I had to enroll into full time classes.
    Because I had no background in fashion design, I was unable to attend full-time my dream school – The Fashion Institute of technology.

    I decided to move to Pennsylvania and attend a two-year program in fashion design at Lehigh Community College. It was here I learned the basics of sewing and drawing. While at Lehigh, I applied myself fully into my studies and research; I knew that I needed to be on top of the graduating class if I was going to be admitted to FIT.

    After two gruesome years of raising a baby-girl, studying, and working, I graduated from Lehigh, and I immediately applied to the Fashion Institute of technology, and was accepted.
    Fast-forward 8 years later, I have completed two associates in apparel design and a BFA (Bachelor in Fine Arts) at the fashion Institute of technology. I have interned for major brands like Calvin Klein, Tory Burch, among others.
    After graduation, I began freelancing for a licensing company, where I became aware of the lack of ecological values in the fashion industry and how it did not take a conscious approach to creating clothing of sustainable value. There was no real design being requested from freelancers like me. All the clothing being manufactured in the market resembled uniforms, everyone was wearing the same things but in different colors. These brands simply had one goal in mind and one goal only: “Cut Cost, Increase Profits… at any cost!”
    I became disenchanted with my career and the industry. This led me into a path of existential exasperation where I would have to confront every single idea and concept ever programmed into my mind… and this inevitably led me to live philosophical “Dark Night of The Soul.”

    I went through my own modern version of an ancient “Alchemical Transformation…”
    …I am still in the process…
    I met new people, I started an immersive training into spirituality and its practices. As a result of my own rebirth from my state of calcination, a new “me” was born. I set a new “North” for myself. I planted and nurtured new dreams of what I wanted to experience and what I wanted to contribute to this beautiful world. This led me to create YNA New York.

    Dressing the context of your inner dialogue.

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