WHSV TV 3 featured a story on Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA part-time employee Jahleel Pettiford recently.

After going through a tough emotional time as a junior at Robert E. Lee High School, Pettiford decided to start a positivity campaign, which included his drawings being posted to social media. Some friends encouraged him to turn the concepts into a clothing line.

“They were like, ‘If you turned that into a shirt, I’d buy it,’” said Pettiford, who named the line Növel because he loves uniqueness. “I was like, ‘well then that’s the next move.’”

A point guard on Lee High’s 2017 state championship basketball team, Pettiford now assists younger kids at the YMCA. The teenager’s fashion line allows him to express his creativity, pursue business in his teens, and spread a message of hope.

“With the way the world is now, a happy day is almost like a miracle,” said Pettiford, who worked with the Staunton Creative Community Fund to help develop a business plan. “The world is just bad now with all the scrutiny, violence and conflicts. I just want to spread peace, love and positivity and equality for all.”

Watch the WHSV video here.

© Staunton Augusta YMCA | Site design by Augusta Free Press LLC