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 starting. To 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 scholars, Nupur 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.
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.