Day 5 – August 11th 2015

El Paso, TX

Hello from El Paso! When I first planned the tour, I did not anticipate that many kids would be back in school during these dates, so we had a bit of a logistical snafu between Phoenix and El Paso. Thanks to our incredible volunteers for rue21 at the Phoenix the day previously, we were able to get moving on the road by about 7:15pm. However, we still had an incredibly long drive ahead of us. By long, I mean that we did not arrive in El Paso until 5am. And then, we had to be up and ready to go by 8am!


Preparing volunteers for the day’s duties

Thank you Grandpa Gus (our resident truck driver), my mom Amy, and my sister Anika for putting up with a difficult schedule. You would think the next day we would all be exhausted, but thankfully everyone kept up his/her energy throughout the stop. We went to bed at 5am, and were excited to find out that the hotel had free breakfast. Bright and early, around 7:45am, we went to breakfast and guess what!?! The hotel had a waffle machine in the shape of the state of Texas! What a fun surprise. We ate our waffles, and then drove to the Juvenile Probation Department, where our event for the day was held.


Our rue21 Crew in El Paso



Two of our rue21 volunteers setting up!

This stop was special for several reasons, first we were in El Paso, and we had such an amazing event the year previous and secondly, Sean Herbert from CBS Evening News made the trek from New York, with his daughter Grace, to film the tour stop! As we drove in, Sean had his camera set-up to capture every moment. Our #RUECREW El Paso was also there ready to start the day. I have to add, the sun is BRIGHT in El Paso. And hot, but mostly bright. I definitely found myself squinting most of the day. We set-up, and as we set-up, girls started arriving for the event. They sat on a small little hill and gazed on at what was to come later in the day.


El Paso Panel (L – R) Jeannie, Allyson, Celeste, Lesley



What a cool mural inside the gym!

Inside for our seminar, Molly Wegner from the probation department arranged several people to set-up chairs for us, which was helpful! Thank you Molly for all of your help. Besides day of logistics, Molly worked to get every single girl at the event. J For our opening panel, Jeannie Stringfeld, Celeste Nevarez, and Lesley Cornelius spoke to the girls about their careers and goals in life. Jeannie moved from California and opened a clothing boutique in El Paso, called Fetch Clothing. She spoke a lot about the struggles she faced in opening the store and how girls listening could apply that to what they might want to accomplish. Celeste related to the girls, being a native Texan and talking about how it can be tough to make big moves, but how there are ways to be super successful in making transitions. Lastly, Lesley talked about how while she is a ICU Nurse, that is not necessarily where she always wants to be, and how she evolves based on what she wants to do. What an amazing panel of women!


Setting up and getting ready to shop!

After the panel, we had lunch courtesy of Chipotle and yummy bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. While doing this, we had fun at lunch with Taylor Swift trivia, and giving out Taylor Swift prizes from Keds. The girls had a blast providing answers to questions like “what song does Drew make an appearance in?” and “what is Taylor’s middle name?” After lunch, we split the girls into groups. Celeste braided the girls’ hair and showed them the Moroccanoil videos. Thank you Celeste for stepping in and doing this for the girls.


Celeste doing hair!



With the amazing Moroccanoil!



Hair braided by Celeste! Thank you!

We also had Joyce Schwarz in attendance, founder of the Vision Board Institute. What a treat that she came all the way out to El Paso to participate in this event! She also arranged for all of our other vision board coaches to attend the summit. Joyce wrote an amazing book about vision boards and why they are important. I would highly recommend reading it. What we did on the tour greatly resembles what is taught in the book.


Girls showing off their vision board books with Joyce in the background 🙂

And of course, outside girls chose clothing from the boutique. It sure was hot, but girls did find some relief in the shade of trees next to the truck. A lot of girls told us about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Seeing their smiling faces and the confidence behind each girls voice when she said it, definitely made the day special. Girls wanted to be marines, chefs, nurse, therapists, actresses, FBI agents and more. I have no doubt that all of them will achieve what is meant to be. The selfie sticks were a huge hit in El Paso, I had fun joining in a few selfies with the girls. THANK YOU rue21!!


Taking a selfie!



With Daija, shopping in El Paso!



Getting ready for the CBS interview portion

As I mentioned previously, CBS Evening News sent Sean Herbert to come film. He brought along his daughter Grace to volunteer. Here is a clip to the EXCELLENT piece. Thank you Sean!! And thank you Grace for being a real trooper in the Texas heat.

Click HERE to watch the video.

El Paso thank you for welcoming us and making our event into such a success. The probation department flew in young girls from Lubbock and drove girls in from Odessa and Midland to be a part of this experience, which makes us so happy to know we extended our reach beyond El Paso. We hope to come back year after year.




P.S. this is my beautiful Mommy <3

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