Exceprt from MiamiHerald.com:
When Rachel Desert walked into a top South Beach modeling agency on Friday, the high school student expected to get tips on how to pose for the cameras and walk down a runway.
She got that and a whole lot more, including life lessons, from agency founder Irene Marie, supermodel Nikki Taylor and Wild on E! host Cindy Taylor, no relation to Nikki.
''I learned that with determination, you can overcome any obstacle,'' said Desert, 17, a junior from North Miami Beach Senior High School.
"Nikki also said her parents were very supportive of her career. That's very important.''
Desert belongs to the Women of Tomorrow, where at-risk high school girls receive mentoring from successful professional women and get a behind-the-scenes look at various industries in South Florida.
The program operates in 98 high schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. School officials choose students from the ninth to 12th grades to participate. The goal is for successful women to help teenagers realize their potential.
On Friday, six girls from Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School joined Desert and five other students from North Miami Beach High for a tour of Irene Marie's modeling agency on Ocean Drive. All of the students wore matching red polo shirts, black pants and black high-heel pumps for the occasion.
Marie, whose agency launched the career of both Taylors and hundreds of other top models, has been a founding mentor with Women of Tomorrow since Jennifer Valoppi, a former WTVJ-NBC 6 news anchor, started the program in 1997.
The girls received wide-ranging advice from the three women.
Marie and Nikki Taylor showed them how to walk with the proper attitude on a runway located in the back terrace of the agency's building.
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