At the very heart of AEO is our PEOPLE. Our associates are REAL – authentic, resilient, and optimistic – each with their own story. We’re catching up with our AEO REAL Change Scholarship for Social Justice recipients to see how they’re demonstrating the power of their actions and voices to make REAL change.
Meet Amarilys. AE Senior Brand Ambassador, student at Rhode Island College pursuing a double major in Marketing and Spanish and social justice crusader! Amarilys is one of 15 associates to receive the AEO REAL Change Scholarship for Social Justice – our $5 million commitment created to advance educational opportunities for full and part-time AEO associates who are actively driving anti-racism, equality and social justice initiatives.
Amarilys began her journey with AEO nearly five years ago – starting as a Sales Associate and working her way to Senior Brand Ambassador and Influencer at the Warwick Mall American Eagle store in Rhode Island. She’s most happy when working one-on-one with customers, helping them find the right fit and style, all while making a personal connection. As an Influencer, Amarilys loves that she has the opportunity to empower customers and promote body positivity. “I’m proud that I get to be a voice for plus-sized women. It feels good that I get to show other girls that they can do it too,” shared Amarilys.
“I never expected to work in retail and get this far at American Eagle. Turns out my marketing major has a focus on retail, so American Eagle truly helped me figure out what I want to do. It was meant to be!” As a double major in Marketing and Spanish, Amarilys is looking forward to a career where she can focus on brands and promotion while continuing to perfect the Spanish language and learn more about her family’s roots.
Currently in her senior year, Amarilys is President of Unidos – previously serving as Secretary and Vice President. Unidos is a diverse organization that welcomes students from all backgrounds and minority groups. As President, Amarilys organizes social justice events on campus and leads open discussions on topics that are important to today’s youth, such as colorism and voting.
When asked what motivates her, Amarilys brought it back to one of AEO’s core values. “Passion! I’m passionate about my Hispanic culture, and I love teaching others about it. And I’m passionate about change. If we all come together – and stick together –, change can happen. We can make a difference! A lot of people are going to sit and wait for change, but it’s not going to happen unless we make it happen.”
We have no doubt that the future is bright for Amarilys, and we know that she will continue to inspire REAL change for years to come!