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In collaboration with JCPenney

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My outfit: Arizona crochet blouse, Arizona pom pom clutch, a.n.a. skinny ankle jeans (plus-size here)

I had the pleasure of spending the day with JCPenney at the Hollywood YMCA for a special back-to-school event for teens. It was a celebration of the national partnership between JCPenney and YMCA and the commitment to help ensure all kids head back to school confident and prepared.

I have my own memories of back-to-school shopping at JCPenney with my mom when I was a kid, so it feels like I’ve come full circle now that I’m getting my daughter ready for preschool.

At this kickoff event, JCPenney gave away Arizona Jeans, backpacks, haircuts, vision screenings, and more. There were lots of families there–the last time I went to the backpack station, I learned they’d already given away nearly 400 of them. Amazing! I met so many cool kids. We chatted about the new year school year, the favorite programs at the Y (major love for karate and dance,) and which style jeans we like best (jeggings were ultra-popular.) I even met an aspiring teen blogger and we chatted about how one handles criticism when pursuing your passion. I gave her the inside scoop!

On my drive home that evening, I thought about the nerves and excitement that come with new beginnings. We’ve all been there, right? These kids are starting a new school year and I’m so honored I could play a small role in making those transitions just a little smoother.

You can play a role too! Here are some ideas for how you can get involved. JCPenney is leading the way. Just one example: JCPenney will be donating $1 for each pair of Arizona Jeans sold to support the Y’s academic achievement programs.

This event was most definitely #SoWorthIt.

Photos by Azusa Takano