SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Students of John J. Duggan Academy in Springfield learned how international fashion designer, Justin Haynes, who has been in the industry for 14 years, fulfilled his dream.

As a Springfield native, Haynes had never thought about leaving a stable job for a childhood dream. But once he did, he quickly rose to fame. He became the first Springfield-area designer to show at Paris, New York, LA, and Miami Fashion Week.

By sharing his own success story with students, he hoped to help them realize they can reach their own childhood dreams as well.

“Children need to know that they don’t have to wait until they’re in their 20’s or 30’s to start their jobs or their careers or their small businesses or their entrepreneurship, like now is the time they can start it cause it can grow,” said Haynes.

Haynes says finding a mentor can be a terrific first step in enabling children to start living out their ambitions.