YMA FSF Alumni Association Hosts Cocktails & Conversation with Erica Orange

The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Alumni Association hosted its first event on Tuesday at the beautiful Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City: Cocktails & Conversation featuring guest speaker, Erica Orange.  Over 40 FSF Alumni enjoyed conversing over wine and hors d’oeuvres, networking with one another and learning about the exciting career moves they’ve made since their days of winning an FSF scholarship.    

As the evening carried on, FSF Alumni gathered to hear Erica Orange speak.   Erica, who serves as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Office to one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms, The Future Hunters, spoke to Alumni about emerging global trends that are shaping the landscape today—the social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental.  Offering a fresh perspective on the implications these trends have on the fashion industry and society at large, Erica encouraged Alumni to embrace forward-thinking strategies as they progress in their careers.  The session closed with an engaging Q&A, follow by more cocktails, conversations and laughs. 

Erica Orange pictured with Doug Evans and Sheri Rosenfeld

Erica Orange pictured with Doug Evans and Sheri Rosenfeld

As Doug Evans, Executive Director of the YMA FSF put it: “Our newly launched Alumni Association is a natural continuation of our work to support our scholars throughout their careers.  Giving them the opportunity to network with each other as well as industry leaders provides not only life long learning but new career options as well.”  We’d like to give a special thanks to Erica Orange, Marlena Filipowska, Global Brands Group and the Alumni Association for making the evening one to remember!  We can’t wait to see you at our next event. 

About the Alumni Association:

The YMA-FSF Alumni Association was established to connect past, current, and future FSF scholarship recipients. Through a close relationship with the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, the Association fosters a sense of community amongst our ever-growing list of 400 active alumni. Membership not only allows alumni to help support the growth of an organization which helped launch their careers, but also offers benefits such as career mentoring, opportunities to attend educational, social and fundraising events, as well as a broad and diverse network within the fashion industry.

Interested in joining the Alumni Association?  Click here to learn more.

That's a Wrap: Macy's End of Summer Party!

It was a wonderful evening of celebration at Macy’s Executive Offices on Thursday as more than 50 YMA FSF scholars gathered with Board members and mentors to toast to the conclusion of a hugely successful, eventful, summer 2015 program.  The End of Summer Party, generously hosted by Macy’s, was held on the beautifully decorated 13th floor, lined with iconic pictures of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades Past, as Peter Sachse pointed out during his welcome speech, thanking scholars for their hard work over the summer and congratulating them on a job well done at their internships.  

Working at some of the most prestigious fashion companies in the industry - from Chanel, to Oscar de la Renta, to Global Brands Group, PVH, Macy’s, Greg Norman Collection and more- scholars expressed their sincere gratitude for the opportunities afforded to them through the FSF program and  the connections they have made along the way.  Between our Breakfast with the Boss series, evening networking events, and social receptions, the summer has been filled with experiences that have provided a wealth of knowledge and insight into the industry from incredibly talented, influential executives.  

As the skies cleared up, guests were granted access to the beautiful outdoor terrace area, where they conversed over hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed spectacular views of the city.  Simultaneously wrought with feelings of excitement and sadness as their summers in New York City come to an end, scholars shared with us some of their favorite memories, lasting impressions and excitement for their bright futures that lie ahead. 

Madeline Hanley, Indiana University, Greg Norman Collection - “Last year when I found out I was a finalist for YMA FSF, I was ecstatic. The scholarship and the trip to New York in January was just the beginning. The Breakfast with the Boss series was inspirational- so many of the "Bosses" had worked a number of different careers in their way to the top. It made me realize you can really make your own path in this industry and apply your diverse skill set to whatever you want if you are willing to work for it. Moreover, it was a pleasure socializing with my fellow breakfast-goers- it was great meeting like-minded, driven students and I can't wait to see where everyone ends up.

Today, I am so grateful that my internship at Greg Norman Collection turned into a full-time position that balances my design sensibilities with my business acumen.”

Shota Adamia, Brandeis - “Spending another summer under the wings of the YMA program was just as unique, enriching and exciting as before. I got to meet exceptional scholars whose work, enthusiasm and ambition is nothing but impressive and stimulating. The highlight of my summer was the series of Breakfast With the Boss events: every single host was a prominent industry leader who gave us unmatched insights into their daily professional lives; I believe that their mentorship, resourcefulness and unquestioned willingness to guide us through the initial stages of our careers are what make being a YMA scholar irreplaceable.”

Grace Dusek, Texas A&M, Global Brands Group - “My time this summer in New York City was greatly enriched by my involvement with the YMA FSF!  The education I received extended beyond fashion to learning about other careers, industries, and networking.  Not only have I made so many new friends in a brand new city, but I have truly felt welcomed by each and every executive I have met through the Breakfast with the Boss Series.  I am humbled I get to be a part of this organization for the rest of my life."

Oliver Zachary Selby, SCAD - “The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund has created a journey for me to grow as a designer while forming long lasting relationships within the fashion industry. It has enabled be to connect with professionals that are there for you whenever you need them for advice or even words of encouragement, wanting you to succeed. The mentorship program is amazing, allowing you to connect with an industry professional assigned by the YMA FSF. I am so grateful for everyone's help and support. I consider each and every one of the YMA members a mentor to me, being a tremendous help while I’m in search for a job. The real extra bonus and cherry on top is the YMA FSF Breakfast with the Boss series and events put on by the different company's affiliated with YMA, what an opportunity! Meeting with top industry professionals is wonderfully helpful, educational and rewarding.  Thank you for YMA FSF for every opportunity allowing scholars  and I to gain relationships that will be long lasting.”

A huge thank you to Macy’s for hosting our End of Summer Party, and to our scholars, Board members, mentors, “Bosses” and the YMA FSF for making this summer one to remember!  We look forward to updating everyone on the success and progress our scholars make as they take the next steps in their careers!

Copyright © 2015 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, All rights reserved.

Meghan Floyd

Start of Summer- Picnic in the Park

Our summer is off to a fabulous start! This Saturday, 35 of our scholars gathered for the first time near Central Park’s Sheep Meadow for a lovely picnic lunch. A few rainclouds and a drizzle threatened our morning, but ultimately the weather held out and the sun even peeked through, making for a successful kickoff event. The scholars were joined by  20 FSF alumni who were extremely excited to meet the newest FSF family members and offer them their own “words of wisdom.”  Not to mention how thrilled many of them were to reunite with each other! We hope this is just the start of an extensive alumni network that is being launched later this year. 

Each 2015 scholar was greeted by an alumni buddy, who Marie carefully selected based on school, internship location and common interest. Like many of our alumni, 2013 alumna Felicia Podberesky was eager to meet the current scholars and reconnect with the Fashion Scholarship Fund. As she shared with us, “I remember being in their shoes and am so grateful to be able to share the wisdom that was given to me…I wouldn’t be where I am today without the organization and am looking forward to seeing all the talent that these scholars have to offer.”  

Not only did alumni and scholars get to exchange questions and advice, but scholars got to learn a bit more about each other and the exciting internships they will be startingTo make first introductions fun and memorable, each scholar received a notecard with one word out of a pair of opposites. After finding the scholar with the card that held the opposite (East met West, Hot met Cold), the pair then exchanged a few fun facts. 

In the words of one of our scholarsNupur Sampat, “Meeting other YMA scholars and alumni made me realize what a huge resource this program is. Not only am I part of a cohort of ambitious young students who will one day go on to run the fashion industry, but I also have access to major brands and even CEOs of these brands…I am thankful to the YMA family!” Scholar Samantha Stern “thought that the event was a fantastic informal way to meet other YMA scholars and alumni,” and says that she “can’t wait to see what [her alumni buddy] does with her future.”   

Our scholars and their alumni buddies hit things off so well that more than half an hour went by before our rumbling stomachs steered us towards our bag lunches. Over a sandwich and a cookie or two, Doug extended a warm welcome to the entire group, and Marie made sure our scholars knew everything they needed to know about embarking on the program this summer, from “Breakfast with the Boss” mornings to our other evening events.  

Some of our 2015 scholars sporting their brand new DVF sunglasses and FSF drawstring bags.

Some of our 2015 scholars sporting their brand new DVF sunglasses and FSF drawstring bags.

And if the cooperative weather, the company of new friends and reunions with old friends wasn’t exciting enough, each picnic-goer left with a stylish blue YMA FSF drawstring bag filled with goodies. Scholars received a logoed Frisbee, a notebook and pen, a pair of sunglasses donated by Mark Ginsberg and Marchon, a pair of flip flops from David Katz and Randa, and some helpful handouts about NYC to help them navigate their summers. Thanks to all of our scholars, alumni, and gift donors for making this event one to remember! We can’t wait to see what else this summer has in store.

Copyright © 2015 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, All rights reserved.    Rachel Feller

Copyright © 2015 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, All rights reserved.

Rachel Feller

A Grand Celebration!

Doug Blog.jpg

As we move into Spring, everything is coming in to full blossom including all our programs at the Fashion Scholarship Fund.  On the heels of the most successful gala ever where we raised $3,600,000, we are now placing the newest class of scholars into summer internships all over the United States.  Soon our Board Members and Ambassadors will start making presentations at our partner universities and colleges and another competition will begin.  Plans are underway for our summer programs also as well as Gala 2016.  Keep an eye out for news on the date and place as I am sure this will be THE event of the New York season and, like this year, sell-out again.

All of us at the Fashion Scholarship Fund want to thank YOU for making dreams come true for thousands of scholars.




Welcome to the new and improved YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund website.  Not only have we updated the look, but also added lots of information that we hope you find not only entertaining and interesting, but also informative.

As I round the corner of being with FSF for six months, scholars have asked me how a non-profit, Broadway guy transitioned into the fashion industry.  My answer is pretty simple.  Fashion, like Broadway, ballet or any art is part of the creative economy which is a huge industry not only here in the United States but around the world. Many of the great fashion designers have also had (or currently have) careers in other creative sectors including film, opera and yes, even Broadway.  A real time example is Isabel and Ruben Toledo!  Isabel and her stunning costumes from the musical “After Midnight” were recently a Tony award nominee, Broadway’s highest honor.  Or look back in the history of film and when the credits role you will see dozens of names you will recognize from your favorite stores.  You can do the same in opera and ballet.  So if you are in the fashion industry, you have a broad canvas on which to create!

The fashion industry is a dynamic place to be and one that I am proud to be a part of!  Let us know what you think of the website and while you are at it, spread the word about YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.

Updates from Colin

Hi Colin,
If I am accepted as a YMA Scholar, what can I expect for my summer in New York City?  Excited Anticipation, Arlene E.


Arlene, you are in for a treat. Our summer intern program is filled with opportunity and excitement. Our mission is to offer you access to industry leaders and to encourage long lasting bonds with your YMA FSF alumni. These relationships and experiences will give you tremendous support and help to shape your career as you venture into the expansive workplace the fashion industry has to offer.

Your summer will start with our Intern Social where you get to rub elbows and speak with our board members, ambassadors, and mentors. At this event you will also hear from stand-out fashion industry leaders, who will offer you their personal tips and inspirational advice on how maximize your potential as a fashion professional. In 2014 we were fortunate to have the opportunity of hearing from the former CEO of Bloomingdale’s, Michael Gould!

As your summer progresses, you will be invited to about 20 “Breakfast with the Boss” events, which are hosted by New York’s top fashion industry professionals. We will also host other networking and educational events throughout the City so that your time here is well spent and filled with exciting ways to nurture your development as a dynamic fashion leader.

Checkout our events page (hyperlinked) to review some of our past events.

We look forward to seeing you in New York City!