EAST ORANGE, N.J. — Nyla Cheeseboro has a dream to one day launch a fashion line.
At just 16-years-old, she’s already getting a head start as a student in East Orange’s new virtual Summer Work Experience Program.
"This is helping me for public speaking," Cheeseboro told PIX11. "It helps me with learning about how to profit my business without being scammed."
Cheeseboro is just one of 300 students enrolled in the VIP Online Academy, which has partnered with the city and Seton Hall University for the one-of-a-kind learning experience.
"We do programs like graphic design, hip-hop development, makeup and hair, videography, and kids are able to learn skill sets that they could turn into earning money now," Jamila Davis, founder of VIP Online Academy, said.
The inaugural program, which is completely online due to the COVID-19 outbreak, broke from virtual protocol Friday so students could receive donated goods like computers and hair and makeup kits to amplify their training.
Mayor Ted Green on hand for the distribution.
"Whatever we could do to assist our young people to further their education with the things that they need we are all in," he said.
The value of the experience is not lost on students like Ahoefa Nanevi.
"Even after this job is over, I can still use this talent and still make money. It’s amazing, a dream come true," she said.
As the program continues throughout the summer, a number of skilled instructors, industry experts and celebrity influencers are expected to pop into the virtual class
To learn more about the program, visit their website here.