COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The signs in downtown Columbus for Central Avenue Bodega are not for a convenience store.

They’re actually for a capstone project pop-up shop put together by a group of high school students. They’re all in a program called the Future of Fashion, which is put on in the summer by the Columbus Fashion Alliance.

For the last three years, Future of Fashion has taken students and put them through a nine-week intensive course on the ins and outs of the fashion industry. Everything from marketing to visual merchandising to production.

“We really wanted to create a program that exposes the youth to the industry, you know everything that happens before it hits the shelves,” Yohannan Terrell, the executive director at the Columbus Fashion Alliance, said. “We bring in people from all over, LA, New York, Miami, they come from all over to teach and to show the kids, and they also look like them right? They get to see other people of color who are in the industry that are excelling.”

This year’s theme of Central Avenue was representative of the students. The pop-up shop was their capstone project.

“Everything in here has significance and is something we can all definitely relate to,” Jason Pacheco Osorio said.

He is headed to Kent State University this fall to study fashion design.

“I hope to hopefully open my own brand at some point. This program has definitely inspired me more to push forward,” Pacheco said.

Other students said they have big takeaways.

“I found a lot of connections,” Trinity Collins said. “They always tell us connect, connect, connect so I feel like I have a lot of connections.”

It’s responses like these that let Terrell know they’re on the right track.

“The hope is to create new pathways for these young adults,” Terrell said. “If we keep doing this year over year, Columbus will just naturally become one of the best places young designers are coming out of. And so we’re excited to see the fruits of the labor pan out from now, and it’s really going to change the city.”

Terrell said they’ll be giving away over 3,000 pieces of free clothes to high school students. The pop-up is located at 480 W Town St. and will be open Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.