Introducing the 2017-18 Aerie REAL Ambassador Team!

We’re so excited to be working with Aerie this year to spread body positivity on campuses across the country. Throughout the program, our 35 amazing ambassadors will be tasked with the mission of helping girls feel good about their REAL selves; both inside and out. From on-campus events to weekly digital content creation, these girls will be joining the movement and spreading the love on behalf of Aerie. Learn more about what makes these girls #AerieREAL below!

“What makes me #AerieREAL is my motivation to empower women to feel good about themselves no matter what they do or what they look like. A simple compliment or word of encouragement can go a long way.” – Ama Appiah, University of Connecticut [@amaappiah]

“To me being #AerieREAL means being authentic and true to yourself and who you want to be regardless of others. I’d rather be true to myself then pretend to be something or someone that I’m not.” – Ella Vanderbilt-Fried, Ohio State University [@ellahazel328]

“I am #AerieREAL because I embrace my flaws and I am not afraid to be completely (and happily) myself.” – Cassidy Wilshire, Rutgers University [@cassidywiltshire]

“I’m #AerieREAL because I choose to love myself in whatever condition I’m in. I never try to be anything but myself and I’m perfectly happy being just myself.” – Annabelle Schmitt, Pennsylvania State University [@a_nnabae]

“I am #AerieREAL because I love myself and every flaw that comes with that. I really want to use this platform as a way to encourage girls to think more positively about themselves and feel like they are perfect just the way they are!” – Anna Grady Wilson, Clemson University [@annagrady]

“I pride myself in being a feminist that is so down for empowering women. Everyone has a different body type and that should be embraced! I am confident in myself and the power women have.” – Brenna DeSalvo, Boston University [@brennaclairex]

“Sometimes it’s tough to accept your flaws while growing up seeing the idealistic way a woman “should” look everywhere. Being #AerieReal means accepting and loving all my flaws because they truly make me who I am.” – Morgan Baker, University of Wisconsin – Madison [@morgiibaker]

“My journey to find my self-love and getting to the point where I love who I am inside and out with my flaws included is what makes me #AerieREAL.” – Emily Chertow, Pennsylvania State University [@echertow]


“I am #AerieREAL because I make it my mission to promote body positivity in all girls. I am so excited to encourage all types of women on and off campus to accept their “flaws” and flaunt the amazing aspects of who they are as powerful and real individuals!” – Kate McKeaney, University of Pittsburgh [@katemckeaney]

“I am #AerieREAL because I have a fit and healthy body! All bodies are beautiful, so keeping it healthy is what really matters. Strong is beautiful!” – Candice Ho, University of Maryland [@candicaramel]

“I am #AerieREAL because I am excited when girls know and embrace their self-worth! :)” – Alexandra Valanzola, University of Connecticut [@lexivalanzola]

“I think what makes me #AerieREAL is my ability to see through my biggest flaws and handle them with confidence. Especially in our social media-influenced society, I believe in taking every notion to be as real as possible, and attempt to portray myself in this manner at all times.” – Mara Nasui, University of Wisconsin – Madison [@maranasui]

“I am empowered and confident in the skin I have. I know I am beautiful and capable regardless of whatever flaws I have.” – Emily Wells, North Carolina State University [@docia_and_mimosas]

“I’m #AerieREAL because I’ve learned to put myself first. I disregard the images magazines put on their pages because the girls in those photos are not the definition of perfect. Beauty is only skin deep and I have so much to offer to the world!” – Tinah Ogalo, Clemson University [@tinah.ogalo]

“I am #AerieREAL because although I am not perfect, I know that everything about me, good and bad, adds up to something great. My worth is held not in how others view me, but how well I view myself, because those flaws and imperfections make something beautiful and worth getting to know!” – Nikki Paige, North Carolina State University [@nikkipaige1396]

“I am #AerieREAL because I truly believe that every women is beautiful, full of strength, and uniquely inspirational and I wish that every woman could see that in themselves. No matter your size, skin color, sexuality, religion, etc., every woman deserves to feel like a goddess in all aspects of their lives. ” – Meghan O’Neil, University of Connecticut [@moneilll]

“I think what makes me #AerieREAL is my confidence in myself and my dreams. I always try to focus on what I want to do with my life and how to get there rather than allowing others to persuade me otherwise.” – Carson Abernathy, Boston University [@carsonab]

“I have struggled with self-acceptance for a long time. Day-by-day I am becoming stronger and happier, and learning to love myself despite my faults. I am not perfect; I am real.” – Danielle LaPerche, North Carolina State University [@daniellelaperche]

“I’m #AerieREAL because no one else is like me, and that should be celebrated.” – Olivia Dubro, Clemson University [@dubroskiii]

“I’m #AerieREAL because it brings me so much joy to help other girls to be able to love their body the way I love mine.” – Rachael Balent, University of Pittsburgh [@rachaelbalent]

“What makes me #AerieREAL is my ability to not only recognize my imperfections, but more importantly to embrace them.” – Emily Godfrey, Pennsylvania State University [@emmilygodfrey]

“Now that I am in my twenties, what I once thought of as flaws, I now view as attributes that marks me as an individual and this is why I believe I am #AerieREAL.” – Katie Mueller, Ohio State University [@katie_mueller5]

“I am #AerieREAL because I love the body that I have. I throw the haters aside, dress how I want and flaunt the body my momma gave me.” – Michelle Pelowski, University of Wisconsin – Madison [@itsyogurl_ilymily]

“I believe that everyone is beautiful on the outside. What really matters is the beauty on the inside and if you are honest.” – Marissa Paolella, Clemson University [@marissa_paolella]

“What makes me #AerieREAL is the level of comfort I have with myself. I have learned to love my body and my personality, despite the many flaws that come with them.” – Megan Rust, University of Maryland [@megan_rust]

Follow along with the girls by searching #AerieAmbassador on Instagram and Twitter, and join the mission yourself by using #AerieREAL!

6 Skills You’ll Master as a Student Brand Ambassador

Being a student brand ambassador isn’t always a simple task—especially when you’re going to class, studying for midterms, working a part time job, and trying to see your friends! Although it seems challenging, being a brand ambassador can be an incredibly rewarding experience that helps you develop the skills needed to enter the workforce. Here are six skills you’ll master:

1. Communicating remotely

Brands hire student brand ambassadors from all across the country, and because of this, you typically communicate with your supervisor via phone, text, email, and social media. A lot can be lost in translation when you’re unable to see someone face-to-face. As a result, you’ll be challenged to learn how to refine your remote communication skills, which is becoming an increasingly more important aspect of work in our digital age.

2. Working within teams

You don’t work in a vacuum, and in most careers, you never will. Typically, student brand ambassadors work in groups of two to four. The success of the program on your campus depends on your ability to collaborate effectively within your team. Learning how to work with others is a vital skill that you’ll develop and perfect over time. Because of this, the data shows us that student brand ambassadors have a leg up on the competition as they enter the workforce. After all, the key to being a successful student brand ambassador is clear and continuous teamwork.

3. Being responsible and deadline-focused

Being a student brand ambassador can be a really fun and rewarding opportunity, but at the end of the day, it is a job. The program’s completion and success is on you and your team. Brands invest a lot of time and money into selecting, training, and trusting student brand ambassadors to complete tactics when they themselves cannot be present. If an event doesn’t happen, the opportunity is lost, money is wasted, and the brand cannot meet their goals. As previously mentioned, your supervisor is typically not in your same city, so the responsibility is in your hands. Learning how to work on your own schedule and still meet deadlines is a critical skill.

4. Representing a brand or company

As a student brand ambassador, you become the face of your brand on-campus. Beyond having to know everything about their service and/or product offerings, you’ll be communicating their brand messaging everyday. What’s their story? What makes them unique? And why should students care? You’ll learn how to share key messages through both verbal and visual techniques—from talking about products and services, and demonstrating their value, to looking the part through what you wear and how you present yourself. For example, if you’re representing Apple but using a PC, people won’t believe that you’re a true advocate for the brand—they’ll assume you’re just doing it to get paid. Learning that sometimes it not what you say, but how you present it, is a valuable lesson.

5. Telling a brand’s story on social media

As a Millennial, you might already think you know everything there is to know about social media. You have 10,000 Facebook friends, 1,500 Instagram followers, 500 friends on Snapchat, and even 1,000 Twitter followers—that’s awesome! But do you know how to utilize these followers to build a brand? As a student brand ambassador, one of your weekly responsibilities is to create on-brand and engaging content. You’ll develop an understanding of which posts resonate with the followers and which posts fall short. If you do an exemplary job, you may even get featured on the brand’s social media channels! So, how do you shift from telling YOUR story on social media, to telling the unique story and sharing the unique voice of the brand you represent? As a student brand ambassador, you’ll learn what it truly means to use social media to represent a brand and their key messages.

6. Planning an event

Student brand ambassadors complete on-campus tactics. In other words, you’ll be helping plan and execute events. While it may not be your life’s ambition to be an event planner, you’ll learn how to work with vendors (ordering supplies) and negotiate deals (reserving a venue). Lastly, you’ll learn how to “read a room”—making sure event attendees are having a good time and engaging with the brand. This experience is an important one; teaching you how to approach and interact with new and diverse people.

Being a student brand ambassador is an incredible opportunity to gain valuable and applicable work experience, while allowing you the freedom and responsibility to develop your skillsets across multiple fields. Plus, you usually get paid and are given free product! Win-win!

Interested in becoming a student brand ambassador with YMC? We constantly have opportunities arising throughout the school year, to be considered, please create a profile on The Hub and check back often! Also, make sure to follow us on Instagram to see with what’s happening on-campus with our brands.

Calvin Klein’s Racy Ads Spark Backlash

Calvin Klein 1
Calvin Klein is no stranger to stirring up controversy. With their history of overtly sexual advertisements – mainly during the ’90s, the brand truly takes “sex sells” to heart when it comes to promoting their image. Given their recent surge in popularity, primarily among Millennial consumers, it seems like their controversial tactics may be working.

 

One of the keys to Calvin Klein’s success is directing their advertising efforts towards Millennials through collaborations with pop culture icons such as Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, and Nick Jonas. However, the brand is currently under fire for their newest ads, that many argue are overly explicit and provocative.

 

Calvin Klein 2In one photo, 23-year-old Danish actress Klara Kristin is seated on a couch, legs open, and the copy reads, “I seduce in #mycalvins.” Probably the most controversial of the campaign is the up-skirt shot of Kristin, accompanied by the copy that reads, “I flash in #mycalvins.” Outraged by these racy advertisements, people are turning to social media to express their concerns: do the ads promote and perpetuate misogyny, peeping toms, pornography, sexual harassment and rape culture? Many would agree that they do.

 

 

However, some argue that the ads express a unique empowerment through the first person point of view. The line, “I ___ in #mycalvins,” conveys a sense of autonomy that gives the subject a voice and the power of decision. Kristin actually defended the photo in an Instagram post with the caption, “I love this photo @harleyweir took of me… all this discussion about it makes me think about how alienated and scared some people are to the female human body. Be and love yourself and your sexuality #girlpower.” Kendall Jenner has also voiced her opinion on the campaign. In behind-the-scenes footage that Calvin Klein posted on their Instagram, Jenner answers how she would define a strong woman: “I think a strong woman is independent, don’t need no man, can like walk into a room by herself and not be bothered and can go anywhere by herself and not need a million people around her–I think that’s a really strong woman.”

 

Calvin Klein 3Amidst the heated debate, people cannot seem to agree on whether these ads are positive or negative. However, I believe that they’re neither one nor the other, but instead more complex in nature. On one hand, they can certainly serve as statements of empowerment and bodily ownership. Calvin Klein may be trying to make the statement that society should not be afraid to openly express sexuality. However, we cannot disregard in our analysis the historical objectification and hypersexualization of women in the media and its effect on society today. There’s the running critique that some women take their objectification upon themselves and mistake it for empowerment. I agree with this opinion to some extent, but I think the key here is balance. Yes, women can certainly feel powerful and confident by expressing their sexuality and celebrating their bodies. However, we should also feel empowered by the many other facets of our identities, because we are more than just sexual beings.

 

Calvin Klein 4

How adidas Leapt from Athletic Style to Street Style

stansmith

As a twenty-something with an interest in fashion and pop culture, I like to think I am always up on the latest trends and “in the know.” Therefore, it was a huge surprise to me when adidas apparel burst back on the scene a couple of years ago, seemingly out of nowhere. And at the forefront of the new adidas fashion wave was the Stan Smith tennis shoes. These white tennis shoes were popping up everywhere, replacing the neon Nike running shoes that (literally) ran the show my freshman and sophomore years of college. I was extremely interested in this adidas takeover and decided to trace this trend back to its roots.

 

The rise of the Stan Smiths can be attributed to the marketing genius of Jon Wexler, adidas Global Director of Entertainment and Influencer marketing. It seems as if the return of these sneakers was a calculated marketing move by the adidas team way back in 2009. They decided to revamp the classic Stan Smith tennis sneaker in a way that would appeal to Millennials. An article by The Guardian discusses this marketing strategy and states that Wexler “pretty much confirmed everything Miranda Priestly says in the legendary cerulean blue Gap jumper monologue in The Devil Wears Prada… He describes the Stan phenomenon as ‘the classic model of a trend continuum actually working.’” Which basically means, for those who haven’t seen The Devil Wears Prada, that the fashion industry leaders start trends by putting their products in the hands of trendsetters. These trendy individuals are being watched by the masses and once they are spotted wearing a new brand, it immediately becomes popular.

 

Wexler chooses who will represent adidas based on if they are authentic and if their actions align with the adidas brand. He stated in an interview with Complex that adidas looks for “people who are creative and groundbreaking, who set trends and forge their own paths and are not afraid of what people are going to say about that. Obviously the people [adidas works with] are iconic, because it is the most iconic brand in the world.” Wexler knew that he had to showcase the revamped Stan Smith sneaker with some of the most influential and iconic personnel in the fashion industry. He decided to entrust this task to Phoebe Philo, the creative director of Celine. He put the sneakers on her more-than-capable feet and the rest was history. When Philo wore Stan Smiths as she came out for the end-of-fashion-show bow during 2010 Paris Fashion Week, a trend was born. Philo was also one of Time’s Most Influential People in 2014 so that just emphasizes how putting the Stan Smiths on her feet was the best move adidas could make.

 

YMC Blog Image 3Since the reveal of the new sneakers in 2010 things have been looking good for the Stan Smiths and adidas as a whole. In 2013, Gisele graced the cover of Paris Vogue wearing nothing but Stan Smiths. In 2014, A$ASP Rocky and Pharrell Williams both made custom Stan Smiths. North West was also spotted wearing a pair of the sneakers, displaying the influence of the Kanye West-adidas partnership. The impact of adidas’ partnering with some of the biggest names in the industry is huge. These individuals have the ability to start a trend with one photo. Wexler discussed this stating, “When Kanye shows up in GQ wearing Pure Boosts or Stan Smiths, I’ve got to assume there is an impact [on sales].”

 

YMC Blog Image 4As for me, I purchased my first pair of Stan Smiths in the spring of 2015. I wore them with dresses, skirts, jeans, overalls…you name it. I was already known as the girl who was always wearing sneakers anyway, I just made the transition from Converse to adidas. Converse used to be my go-to sneaker but I, like most Millennials, have traded in basketball sneakers for tennis sneakers and Chucks for Stans. I was wearing my Stan Smiths over the summer on the New York City subway going to Brooklyn. A guy sitting across from me gave me a little head nod and mumbled, “Cool Smiths.” If a random hipster in Brooklyn compliments your sneakers, you know they’re cool. The innate coolness of the Stan Smiths was widely accepted by 2015 and adidas certainly took the chance to capitalize on this new image of their brand.

 

YMC Blog Image 5

 

 

New York, the (Big) Apple of My Eye – by Ellie Williams

brand reps pose with Jessica Simpson in New York City

Without a doubt in my mind, my trip to New York City as a Jessica Simpson Campus Manager was the coolest experience I’ve ever had. Upon arriving in the concrete jungle, my co-manager and I met up with the other campus reps in the luxurious lobby of our hotel. When it was time to leave for Jessica Simpson’s exclusive 10th Anniversary Collection launch party, I raced into the first cab in sight. Together, all twenty of us marched into the party at the elegant Tavern on the Green, under a canopy of lights like stars in the brightest city in America.

Jessica Simpson and brand rep taking selfieWhile we were certainly some of the youngest attendees there, it was surprisingly easy to talk to people! I met so many genuine and down-to-earth ladies and gentlemen, and exchanged phone numbers with the current Jessica Simpson intern. I danced to the band playing “Don’t Stop Believing” and received fashion tips from one of Jessica’s close friends. But the highlight of the night was when Jessica took the time for a photo-op and to socialize with all of the Campus Managers. By the end of the party, no one wanted to leave. What we didn’t know at the time was that the next day would be just as eventful!

The following day we had lunch with the Jessica Simpson brand team from Sequential Brands Group, where we had the opportunity to pick the brains of successful individuals in the fashion, marketing, and PR industries. After lunch, the Director of PR for Jessica Simpson gave us a tour of the company’s showrooms. My co-manager and I were attached to her hip the entire time, and learned as much as we could.

The showrooms were beautiful; white, sleek, and clean, just as you’d imagine. We visited the apparel room first, which featured samples of all potential future lines. Across the hall, a sales rep was in a buying meeting, showing off the new children’s clothing. Interestingly, I found out that any apparel that doesn’t make it to the selling floor is sent to a fashion vault, where it is used for future inspiration or later seasons. No wasted creativity here! I also learned that by the time the product makes it to the stores, it’s fairly old news to the design team. They work months in advance to prepare the products that we can buy.

Jessica Simpson fashion displayAfter visiting the apparel showroom, we made our way a few blocks down to the accessory showroom where we walked into a handbag design meeting that Tina Simpson was leading. Women I met the night before at the party were gathered around a table bouncing around ideas on how to improve a certain piece. I didn’t realize the extent of planning and detail that goes into every item before it hits the shelves!

After that meeting, we made our way to our final stop, the jewelry room. Let me just say, I am SO excited for the future Jessica Simpson jewelry line to come out! At the end of the tour, the Jessica Simpson team thoughtfully gifted all of the Campus Managers a purse and a necklace from the upcoming collection. I was sad to part ways at the end of the week, but it was such an incredible and unforgettable couple of days.

If I were to write about all the fun things we did on our trip, it would be a 100 page novel. It was truly an incredible experience. I learned so much in such a short amount of time! This experience has inspired me to work in the PR/Marketing industry, move to New York, and embrace any opportunity I can. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to represent Jessica Simpson as a Campus Manager for Youth Marketing Connection.

Jessica Simpson's campus brand manager

The Perfect Beer for the Best Internship Ever

I’m Taylor Pinson and I’m a student at the University of South Carolina. I already drink Bud Light like it’s my job, so when I received an invitation from YMC to ACTUALLY work for the brand and their #UpForWhatever campaign, I jumped out of my seat at the opportunity.

 

Bud Light brand ambassador blows out candles on cake

 

As I eased into the role and my responsibilities, it became clear that this was going to be a semester full of professional experiences, good times, and plenty of #UpForWhatever moments. Over the course of the semester, I planned, promoted, and executed events including an Anti-Valentine’s Day party, a Sunday morning Kegs n’ Eggs, a #ThrowbackThursday party, and an #UpForWhatever Cruise on Lake Murray near Columbia, South Carolina. After the cruise, I was sure that my job couldn’t get any better. I had just experienced the best Sunday of my college career and was able to put smiles on the faces, and Bud Lights in the hands, of some of my best friends at South Carolina.

 

experiential marketing event for Bud Light

 

Then I got the call. The call came from my Program Strategist at YMC, Mike, informing me that I had been chosen as one of the top #UpForWhatever ambassadors and was therefore invited to Bud Light’s Whatever, USA! The semester that I thought couldn’t get any better was about to end with a bang.

 

The Weekend

brand ambassador with giant beer can

 

Bud Light had the entire weekend planned out perfectly. All I had to do was show up and have fun? Done and done.

 

After a flight to Los Angeles and a ferry ride to Catalina Island, I had finally arrived. I stepped off the ferry and saw the giant Whatever, USA arches. I had found my happy place.

 

The weekend started off with a giant parade, a performance from T-Pain, and an epic rave on the beach featuring Diplo to end the night. I didn’t think Saturday could possibly top the night before, but it did. We hiked for Bigfoot, got schooled on the beer industry by Bud Light’s master brewers, and played Beach Bingo. I began pinching myself making sure it wasn’t all a dream when Kip Moore showed up on stage and sang about “a beer sittin’ on ice” while Snoop Dogg passed out hot dogs. For our last night, we dined in style on the pier and hit the island casino for a party all while dressed in 1920’s attire that would have made Gatsby jealous. Sunday morning came too quickly, and I began my last day at Whatever, USA.

 

Bud Light brand ambassador meets celebrity

 

I began to grow sad and disappointed about leaving until Lil’ Jon showed up and ended the weekend with some words to live by. “Go forth, do great things, & keep drinking your Bud Light,” the great modern philosopher said, and with that we went on our way.

 

I remember my Bud Light #UpForWhatever ambassador interview with YMC shortly after Christmas and answering what I thought was my “most #UpForWhatever moment” so far in college. After a weekend at Whatever, USA, this question will no longer require much thought.

 

I can’t thank YMC enough for an amazing experience and the opportunity to go on the journey of a lifetime as an #UpForWhatever ambassador.

 

The Three Stripe Journey by Heather Luce

My name is Heather Luce and I am a proud alumna of the University of Louisville. Throughout my college career, I have held numerous positions and worked for some of the most talented people in sports. However, one opportunity completely changed the trajectory of my career: the adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program. As an adidas Student Brand Ambassador, I led a team of the most talented, dedicated, and innovative students at Louisville. Our mission was to #OwnTheCampus, and we did just that.

 

adidas brand ambassadors promote the brand on campus

 

During the past two years, our team has won the Best Social Media Team and the Best Overall Team back-to-back. Our tremendous success throughout the program simply would not have been possible without the Program Strategists at YMC. They are our coaches and our biggest motivation. During the first year of the program, my Strategist was Jose Colchao, who is now my mentor and great friend. Jose has always made time to coach me on interviews, provide feedback on my resume and cover letters, and give me career advice. I would not have experienced that level of success had it not been for Jose’s mentorship.

The adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program opened doors for me that I never could have imagined. My senior year, I earned a position as an adidas Marketing Assistant with the University of Louisville Athletic Department. I was able to do incredible things like travel to Portland to tour adidas village and meet the executives of adidas. In March, my dream came true when I was offered a position as an NBA Team Services Specialist with the adidas Sports Licensed Division.

 

college brand ambassadors hold the adidas flag

 

As I reflect on my college career and prepare for the future, I believe these are the three keys to success in sports.

 

Networking

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I believe that who you know gets you there and what you know gets you further. Shake as many hands as you can. Surround yourself with positive people who empower you. Remember names, send thank you notes, and make lasting first impressions. A recommendation letter from the right person can make all the difference in the world.

 

Experience

Millions of people want to work in sports. At the end of the day, the candidate with the best skills and experience is going to get the job. Internships are critical. Volunteer for everything you possibly can. Learn how to market yourself. Your resume and cover letters should make employers thrilled to meet you to learn more about how you can help their company.

 

Want it more than anyone. Work harder than everyone.

Your work ethic is one of the most important aspects of your personality. We see athletes all the time with all the potential in the world, but they lack the determination or work ethic to be the best. You have to outshine everyone else. Don’t just do what is expected of you. Go the extra mile. Exceed expectations and be the greatness that you want to achieve.

 

college brand ambassador wearing the adidas brand at graduation

 

Want to learn more about Heather and follow her journey? Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @UofL_Heather or email her at [email protected].

 

Calling All Dog Lovers; The Truth About Fostering

Here at YMC, we are all huge animals lovers (don’t believe me? Check out our Instagram @youthmarketing.) Some of us are lucky enough to own our own four legged friend, while others look forward to seeing their beloved family pets during visits home. My family has a crazy Carin Terrier, and one of the hardest parts about moving to my apartment in the city was leaving my furry friend behind. My roommate was in a similar situation, having to say goodbye to her darling Dachshund, and during the first few weeks of living in our new place we spent hours chatting about how much we missed having a bundle of fluffy energy running around.

 

Leaving behind a pet when moving out for the first time or going to college is hard, especially if you’re living in a new place and just want to see a friendly face at the end of the day. My roommate and I discussed getting involved in the DC community when we finally had an epiphany; we loved animals and wanted to fill the void of not having one, so volunteering at the local animal shelter would be a perfect fit. Before we knew it, we had filled out an application to become dog fosters and were standing in the Washington Humane Society (WHS) ready to undergo foster training.

 

Part of the training dog fostered by Youth Marketing Connection staffincluded a tour of the facilities, which was filled with cats, dogs, and even a cage full of guinea pigs. Walking through the hallways I was overcome with emotion, there were so many dogs, some cages even had 3 dogs in one small space due to overcrowding. In only 30 minutes, we saw 3 dogs come into the shelter and learned that WHS has an average of 33 dogs surrendered or turned in from animal control every day. When we walked in the doors of the shelter we weren’t 100% sure if we wanted to open our apartment to a pet, but after seeing how much help the shelter needed, we knew we weren’t going home without a dog. Soon enough we were loading 2 Pit Bull mix puppies, crates, and baby gates into my car and oh boy, were we in for an adventure.

 

To make a long story short, 2 puppies was one dog too many for our tiny, 800 square foot apartment, so we had to return the boy pup to the shelter, but he was adopted 2 weeks later! We ended up falling in love with West, as did everyone in the YMC DC office, because we have a wonderful pet-friendly policy and I often brought her to work. When West got adopted, my roommate and I were beside ourselves because she had become part of our little family. She’s still the background on both of our phones! However, we knew that she would be an amazing companion to the family that gave her a forever home and be happier in the suburbs than the city (we continue to solicit her new owners for pictures.) The answer to filling the emptiness of our apartment? Foster another dog in need of a place to stay! We’ve fostered 4 dogs to date, including a sweet spaniel mix with a broken pelvis and our current 8 month old puppy, Meko, who just recovered from a puppy disease and is ready to be adopted.

 

People often tell us how thoughtful it is that we foster and how lucky the dogs are that we take such good care of them, but I think that my roommate and I both know that we’re truly the lucky ones. Nothing brightens your day like the welcome home dance a dog performs for you when you walk in the door, and the fact that we get unconditional puppy kisses while helping the community makes it even better.

 

our foster dog Meko

 

Want to learn more about becoming a foster? Click here for some frequently asked questions!

I listened to what that swoosh said

“My movement told me to be a consumer and I consumed it. They told me to just do it, I listened to what that swoosh said.” – Macklemore, Wings

 

As a DC transplant and as a marketer, I know that the best way to learn the ins and outs of a city is through peer influence. Where to go. What to see. Where to live. Now, a year and a half in, I’m ready to take DC for all it has to offer, and I also have some advice to offer.

 

The humidity in DC is killer. Last year we were threatened with cicadas, but now I know that the worst thing about DC is when that swampy mess the city was built on begins to seep out and turn your hair into frizz and drench your favorite suit and tie with sweat. As a girl, it’s all about keeping cool by a pool. DC has tons of roof top pools, public city pools, and surely, one of your friends lives in a Bozzuto community and has access to a pool every weekend. Take advantage. As far as hair goes, DC does not have the best selection of stylists. And those that are worthy of mention, come with a serious price tag. Groupon and LivingSocial are always offering up sweet deals on keratin treatments, but without the proper knowledge, you’re spending $400 on something you can do at home. For a no-fuss keratin treatment, look no further than Lasio Keratin Tropic and your best friend. You can buy a bottle of the salon favorite online and apply by sectioning and straightening pieces of your hair. It’s simple, only semi-permanent, and gives you flawless hair for at least 2-3 months.

 

Moving on to the DC scene. As a 30 year old, the El Centro dance-floor days are behind me, and all I want is a solid pub with some good beer or a classy spot with palette-pleasing wine options. Look no further than Ivy and Coney for your hole-in-the-wall, open-till-3 beer joint. And for wine? Vinoteca not only offers multiple crowd-pleasers in terms of beverages, but has the best ambiance you can hope for on a sunny day. Their sun-soaked back porch is equipped with bocce ball and amazing happy hour eats. It’s a must, but make sure you get there early!

 

marketing to youth in Vinoteca Plaza DC

 

Next up, recreation. Though DC is filled with more pavement than lush lawns, there are so many ways to take advantage of the great outdoors. Many locals will direct you to the closest beaches – OCMD, Rehoboth, or VA Beach, but the city offers much more than meets the eye. The spring and summer kickball leagues are a great way to enjoy the last few hours of sun after a long day at the office while simultaneously tying on a few drinks. Not only are you getting out there and being active, but you’re surely meeting new people as well. One of the best things about DC is that most of us are not from here. So get competitive on a kickball team, or step out to a bar or restaurant for a weekly MeetUp. Just make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for all of the hidden gems your new friends let you in on.