Allyson Ahlstrom, founder of Threads for Teens, talks the power of learning from rejection and the importance of empowering girls.
Allyson Ahlstrom, a Junior at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, created a full-service clothing boutique that has allowed over 2,700 girls in need to each pick out two brand-new outfits for free over the past five years. Her “Threads for Teens” nonprofit also has also provided 130 girls with backpacks filled with school supplies, and has given out 100 prom dresses. Allyson got her inspiration from a book she received as a Christmas present, which told the stories of teens who had undertaken remarkable service projects. Realizing how important clothes can be to a teenage girl’s self-esteem and dignity, Allyson decided that she would try to make a difference by making new, fashionable clothing available to girls in foster care or other situations of poverty. She immediately sent letters and email notes to more than 300 companies and stores, asking for clothing donations.