As I take a moment to reflect on the past year, I think back to the night of the Fashion Scholarship Fund's annual Awards Dinner. I was one of the top 8 Geoffrey Beene award semi-finalists, standing on stage with sweaty palms, waiting to hear the results of the scholarship competition. That moment, regardless of the outcome, was the first time I had every felt proud of myself. For once, I wasn't criticizing myself or comparing myself to others. I knew that I had grown tremendously through the journey, and that the result shouldn't determine whether or not I was happy. I gave the project my all, and I felt so supported standing amongst strangers in the giant banquet hall. To me, the Fashion Scholarship Fund means continual growth; being a part of the group allows me to constantly be inspired by the speakers and mentors, to grow in my career, and to grow in self-compassion.
For the past four months, I've been traveling. I wanted to experience different cultures, and to see how I could use fashion to change the world. When I first joined the YMA FSF, I met a lady who introduced me to the concept of sustainable fashion. Ever since, I have been adamantly networking with and supporting startups that have a focus on community development, saving water, and reducing waste. It's given me a more global mindset to use in my new job, as a product assistant in Macy's Executive Development Program. I am ecstatic to begin my career, and wherever life takes me, I am looking forward to continual growth.