CORONA DEL MAR — Not many teenagers have a platform that gives them access to hundreds of thousands of people across the nation.
Come Aug. 4, however, students at Corona del Mar High School will have that opportunity for exactly five minutes. They plan to have their voices heard.
CdM is one of five high schools that made it to the final round of Hurley's fifth annual Walk the Walk, a national competition that pits schools against one another in a five-minute "Project Runway"-esque fashion show on the beach during the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.
"This competition is strictly about the artist," said soon-to-be senior Krissy Zahabi, 16, the show's co-producer and co-director. "It's definitely nice to win, but for me, the most important thing is the experience."
The school will compete for the $25,000 grand prize and to keep its title after taking last year's championship.
CdM's show includes a global message that can have an impact on a large scale and in the community, Krissy said.
What that message is and the show's theme, though, is still under wraps until the students hit the runway.
The students promise it will be great.
"It's going to be nothing that Hurley has ever seen before," Krissy said.
The competition has given students a chance to try on real roles as designers and choreographers, which they might want to pursue after high school, said digital media teacher Teri Brudnak.
"I think it gives the kids a look at their lives in the future and that's why we did it," she said.
About 30 students make up the models, backstage crew and fashion team, who created two original outfits and deconstructed Hurley clothes for the show. The varsity dance team also volunteered its time.
Dance team coach Camie Marseilles is doing all the choreography and drama teacher Ronald Martin was brought in to help tell the story along with Brudnak.
The students started the competition in the fall with momentum from last year's win, which turned into uneasy feelings at the prospect of winning a national competition two years in a row.
After seeing the caliber of people who got onboard for the project, the competition is in the bag, said recent graduate Ruvin Gersten, 18, the show's co-producer and co-director.
"We can win for sure," he said.
If You Go
What: Hurley's Walk the Walk runway competition
When: 4:15 p.m. Aug. 4
Where: Huntington Beach Pier
Online: The show will be streamed live online and residents can vote for their favorite