Six UD students won YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund awards this year. Fashion merchandising students Sabriya Jefferson, Michelle Ma, Catherine Pastor and Dana Olson, apparel design student Samantha Tharler and apparel design and fashion merchandising student Alexandra McKay were all honored as YMA FSF scholarship winners.
Each winner receives a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to participate in an industry internship. Winners will be provided with a mentor from the ranks of fashion's elite to guide them through the industry. Each YMA FSF winner will be eligible to compete for the Geoffrey Beene Scholarship the following year, according to Martha Carper, UD faculty director of the YMA scholars.
This year's YMA FSF applicants faced tough competition and a rigorous application process.
From a pool of 250 applicants from 41 participating schools, the YMA FSF Scholarship Committee selected 125 scholarship winners.
Each applicant completed a case study project, submitted an essay detailing their fashion background and aspirations and completed an interview with an YMA FSF Ambassador.
McKay, a senior apparel design and fashion merchandising major, has won the FSF scholarship two years in a row and is grateful for the recognition.
"Besides the financial assistance and networking opportunities it offers, I love the fact that you are chosen for the scholarship based on how well you complete the case study. It is nice to have someone outside of your professors, friends and family validate your work," she said.
The awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria gave Tharler, a senior apparel design major, a glimpse into the glamorous world of fashion.
"I got a tingling sense that I was surrounded by the most talented fashion students and very significant people in the fashion industry. It was one of those special times where you think, ‘I have waited my whole life for this moment,'" said Tharler.
In the three years that UD has participated in the YMA scholarship program, UD students have earned a total of $105,000 in scholarships, according to Dickson.
"Delaware's success in the YMA scholarship program is a reflection of our students' ability to compete on a national level in the most coveted scholarship program in our industry," said Carper. "Working with these students is such an honor for me, because I see first-hand their talent and drive to become the best in their field."