After Hurricane Katrina hit, a flood of ‘Hard times Ahead’ filled the city–especially for its young people.  With few spaces left to harness creative aspirations and fashion-fueled dreams, students almost instantaneously found themselves wildly disadvantaged in pursuing their career goals. In fact, the median household income in NOLA currently stands below $20,000… But, thanks to a new and growing organization, students have regained an inspiring reason to work hard.  The Fashion Institute of New Orleans (FINO), now in its third year, is a nonprofit program which teaches students about the business and creative aspects of the fashion industry.  Each year the program reaches more than 100 students in the New Orleans Recovery School District and places them in a series of field trips and workshops designed to enhance students’ natural talent while providing them with training and business resources. The top ten students are then selected for an all-expense paid trip to NYC where they visit fashion houses such as Kenneth Cole, Hugo Boss, Roca Wear and H&M as well as Teen Vogue.  The program is open to high school juniors and seniors living in the Louisiana Recovery School District with interests in pursuing higher education in fashion.  Visit for more information.