Thanks for the memories

A farewell wish to Model Citizens
By T Martin

“It’s sad to see the program go especially the purpose behind it, but if one thing is certain, it’s that the memories built, the experiences learned, the differences made, and the benefits I gained from [Martin Picturesque] will always be with me.”

From an e-mail sent to us in mid-December, this direct quote sums up what we’ve been hearing from participants of Model Citizens since the announcement of the program’s demise. There seems to be a similar attitude among models that left the program or that couldn’t stick with the program during its three-season run.

When former spokesmodel Rebecca DeJesus told us she was leaving Philadelphia to attend college, we congratulated her… and started looking for anyone who could do the job even half as well as she did. She had been promoting the program, the work of the models and even volunteered to assist at photo sessions for others. Despite the limited number of participants at that time, we did find a replacement, and started to move her in before Becky was gone for college.

We knew who our replacement was about a month before the final announcement was made public. During an interview with Becky just weeks before that announcement, we asked how she felt about her position being vacant before her contract with sponsoring company Martin Picturesque had expired. Her response reflects the general feeling that models have expressed about leaving the program.

“SAD! I feel as if someone is taking my spot, so I’m kind of jealous. Now I’m getting older, and need to be more distinguished, but I’m still a little upset. I just hope the new person gives her all,” she told us.

We acknowledge the feedback and even the direct requests to keep the program going – from participants and parents alike – over the last few months. However, we are ending the program, but not giving up the name, mission or goals of the program. We still want to educate young people about their possibilities through creative self-expression in photography, amateur modeling, and community service.

We also want to acknowledge the praise that our program has received from the models, and want to say this: Thanks! (Right back at ya!)

Thanks for the patience and cooperation when scheduling model photo sessions was difficult or nearly impossible.

Thanks for volunteering your ideas, efforts and time to make the program more fun and exciting every season.

Thanks for reminding the program’s leadership – yes, including the photographer – that amateur models are people with feelings, people that need to be guided and nurtured.

Thanks for helping build the Martin Picturesque image and developing what would become one of the company’s most successful youth programs.

Thanks for a wonderful two and a half years and three seasons of learning, sharing, caring and growing.

More than just wonderful, you are the best! Happy New Year and blessings on you for a bright and successful future.