2013 Youth Achievement Award – Cherith Burke

2013 Youth Achievement Award Recipient, Cherith BurkeCherith Burke is a talented young fashion designer who began pursuing her career during her post-secondary studies. Fashion has always played a significant role in Ms. Burke’s life. Her grandmother designed and created many bridal gowns, and she is mentored by her aunt, who has been active in the fashion industry.

Ms. Burke attended the Art Institute of Toronto (AiTo) and the Richard Robinson Academy of Haute Couture. She specialized in haute couture sewing techniques and graduated Cum Laude. Over the years, Ms. Burke developed her talent through internships and by working with her own clients. She has had shows and events around the city, including an annual show put on by the Black Student Association at the University of Toronto, and she has dressed attendants at the Harry Jerome Awards, put on by the Black Business and Professional Association.

Ms. Burke was a member of the churchdress.ca team for three years, providing information to fashion-conscious young churchgoers about appropriate but fashionable church attire. Among other duties, she was a vital member of the team doing styling for photo shoots.

In 2011, Ms. Burke was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma, and underwent chemotherapy treatment. May 2012 saw a fresh start for the designer. She hosted her own fashion show, officially launching her brand. She also recently assumed the position of fashion instructor at U for Change, a project under Prince’s Charities Canada. Ms. Burke hopes to continue her education through a master’s program at Polymoda Institute of Design and Marketing, in Florence, Italy.

Ms. Burke is passionate about her work and hopes to own a successful brand with boutiques in Toronto and Trinidad. She believes that there is a divine plan for her life and looks forward to everything that is to come.