Jessica Fittante has always dreamed of working in the fashion industry.

“My goal is to have my own fashion line one day,” says Fittante, a TeenQuest alumna who graduated from Swartz Creek High School in 2016. “I want to do a line that is eco-friendly with a high-fashion look.”

To accomplish her goal, Fittante is currently enrolled in a transfer program through Lansing Community College. There, she is studying fashion design and plans to transfer to Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids to obtain her bachelor’s degree.

In the meantime, Fittante works at Michigan Fashion Proto as a production assistant.

Below, read more about what she is currently doing and how her time in TeenQuest has helped her on her journey.

What does your typical workday look like?

The Michigan Fashion Proto is a production manufacturing company where individuals can start their own fashion line and launch a collection. Occasionally, I am the person taking notes during client appointments. Mostly, I am just prepping to get different projects done so we can ship them out.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Learning about and observing other peoples’ experiences in the fashion industry.

What path did you take to get to your current position?

After high school, I began taking fashion courses at Lansing Community College. While there, I’ve worked with an advisor in my program, who helped me look for an internship that could turn into a job opportunity. That is how I found Michigan Fashion Proto.

How did the skills you gained through TeenQuest help you land your position?

They taught us how to be confident in ourselves when applying for jobs. I remember we had phrases we had to study and say out loud to empower us.

What is a memorable moment from TeenQuest?

The day that I graduated from the program. My mom was there to watch me, and it felt great receiving that paper that said I was a TeenQuest graduate.

What advice would you give to current TeenQuest students?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and take risks. I recently had a portfolio interview for Kendall College of Arts, and I showed them multiple drawings of different fashion styles. They liked the fact that I could take different risks in the way I drew my sketches.

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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