College of the Sequoias in Visalia offering virtual sewing, design courses

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The fashion department at College of the Sequoias (COS) in Visalia isn't letting COVID-19 slow down their students' success.

Marcos Medina says, at COS, the fashion department is more like a family.

"I was looking for a school that had what I needed to do," said Medina. "I was really lucky this program was super close to home."

Staff members were determined to keep that spirit alive when the coronavirus pandemic closed school doors.

"Feeding off of everyone else's energy, it's a big family in there, so it's a bit different just being here alone," continued Medina.

"They inspire us, we spent hours trying to figure out how we could transition these sewing classes online," said Instructor Tiffany Wainwright.

Staff spent the summer perfecting the format. Offering loaner sewing machines and putting together supply kits.

"Everything's online, I pre-record my lectures, I pre-record technique," said instructor Brena Steffen.

Staff film the lessons and post them online, so students can watch and work whenever they want.

"The first time I signed up for classes, I had no clue how to sew," said COS student Elizabeth Guadarrama. "The teachers are always there for me. They're always helping, either texting or asking if we have any questions."

The classes give students of all skill levels the chance to learn to sew over zoom training.

"At some point, if we ever go back to face-to-face, I think we'll continue at least one section online because it helps so many high school students or stay-at-home moms with kids at home," said Wainwright.

They are giving students like Marcos the chance to continue working toward their dreams.

"I want to get my Bachelor's in fashion design, anything that will lead me to be able to go work for Barbie because that's something I really want to do," said Medina.

For details on how to register visit their website or contact Tiffany Wainwright at tiffanyw@cos.edu or Brenda Steffan at brendas@cos.edu.
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