Using fashion to help others living in poverty

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Photo Credit: Melissa Madrigal, Staff photographer

Unlike most students in their second year of college, Michelle Hy has plans that go beyond using her education as a tool to help herself and her family.

Hoping to combine her major in graphic design and minor in marketing to create a clothing line, her ultimate goal is to bring attention to the immense issue of poverty and help those in need.

Currently a junior at CSUN, Hy has begun working on her clothing line by creating logos, designs and turning her ideas into action. She mainly uses Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create these designs and logos on her laptop, and is hoping to save up to invest in a Macbook Pro.

In order to see her goals succeed, upon graduating from CSUN, Hy would like to find a job designing billboards, movie posters, and web pages.

Thinking about launching her clothing line during the winter or spring seasons, Hy has created a unique title for her clothing line, Live The Moment Apparel, with a motto that reads “To live is the greatest feeling”

“Despite the negative connotations of poverty, I truly believe that we should not let it strip us of our hope, happiness, and love,” said Hy.  “We need to live the moment.”

Hy grew up in a household where financial troubles were never too far behind.

“I’m starting this clothing line to give hope and strength to families living in poverty, and would like to see this flourish into a successful non-profit organization,” said Hy. “While some people are worried about whether or not they get their iPhone 4G’s on time, more than half of Americans will worry about paying bills on time and putting food on the table. It is a tragedy that tears families apart.”

Hy first began thinking about helping her community from the time she was in middle school because she was old enough to take notice of the circumstances plaguing not only her family, but those in her community as well.

“It is safe to say that my family and I did not suffer as much as others, which completely breaks my heart,” said Hy.

While in high school, Hy began to learn about non-profit organizations such as: TOM’s Shoes, an organization that donates a pair of shoes to a child in a developing country with every pair of shoes they sell, and To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit movement that brought a national awareness to depression, addiction, and suicide. Both of these organizations have served as great inspiration for Hy and her clothing line.

“These amazing people have made a huge difference in the world,” said Hy. “I hope my clothing line changes just as many lives.

Another goal she has for herself, is to be able to host events that will support poverty awareness and be able to spark charity drives to help those who live below the poverty line. Along with helping the underprivileged, Hy wants to make sure she participates in the recent movement of going green by finding efficient, eco-friendly methods for packaging and shipping her products.

For now, Hy continues to focus on her studies while still enjoying her experiences at CSUN. Production of Live The Moment Apparel is slowly taking place between classes and homework, in order to attain a sturdy foundation for the clothing line after graduation.

“Let us live in hope, faith, and love, and allow these things to help us support each other,” said Hy. “Let us live the moment.”