PhilaU Fashion Students Win Prestigious YMA Scholarships

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Fashion merchandising student Maddie Bill has won the $5,000 YMA scholarship for the third straight year.

From a highly competitive national pool of some 600 submissions, seven Philadelphia University fashion students will receive $5,000 each from the 2017 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.

The winners include fashion design students Colton Snavely, Keren Espina, Maria Balestino and Emily DeBernardo and fashion merchandising students Nicole Braun, Zoe Wilson and Maddie Bill, who has won the award for the third straight year.

“The YMA Fashion Scholarship has positively impacted my college career,” Bill said. “I valued the case studies as an additional course because it taught me how to analyze a company, do in-depth research and integrate my own personal ideas into a business plan. This scholarship partnered me with a mentor in the industry and introduced me to recruiters at the internship fair which has created an unimaginable networking experience.”

In addition to the seven $5,000 scholarship winners, PhilaU fashion design student Vivian Cooper will compete in the finals in the prestigious $30,000 Geoffrey Beene scholarship competition, part of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.

YMA winner and fashion design student Maria Balestino won the Nicholas Louis Palumbo outstanding design award at  the 2016 PhilaU Fashion Show.

YMA winner and fashion design student Maria Balestino won the Nicholas Louis Palumbo outstanding design award at the 2016 PhilaU Fashion Show.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our students because it adds value and credibility to their careers and our programs,” said Nioka Wyatt, fashion merchandising and management program director. “Participating in the YMA scholarship program is similar to students taking a fifth course. They’re responsible for meeting with their faculty mentor on a weekly basis, and we’re coaching and encouraging our team of scholars throughout the process.”

The YMA association, made up of fashion industry leaders, promotes education of the fashion arts and business through internships, mentorships and career programs to talented students. It awarded more than $1.1 million in scholarships in 2016.

“This is an extraordinary organization that helps to support young design and merchandising talent to launch their careers in industry,” said Sheila Connelly, director of PhilaU’s fashion design program.

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