RebekahAustinLIM College students are starting the new year off with scholarships. Senior Rebekah Austin received a $10,000 scholarship award and Jillian Guaragna received a $5,000 scholarship at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner on January 7 at the Waldorf Astoria. Then on January 11, Biancha Felix received a $15,000 award as the first runner-up for the 2015 National Retail Federation (NRF) Next Generation Scholarship.

Founded in 1937, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund is an international non-profit organization composed of influential members of the fashion industry. The FSF’s goal is to advance the fashion industry by encouraging gifted and enterprising young people to pursue careers in design, merchandising, retailing and business so the industry will continue to attract dedicated, capable and creative individuals.

LIM College is one of a select group of educational institutions throughout the nation chosen to participate in the YMA FSF competition. Other participating schools include Barnard College, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and Harvard University. Scholarships are awarded based entirely on merit, taking into consideration the applicants’ GPAs, the completion of a case study project, a personal essay and an interview. In addition to the scholarship funds, Rebekah and Jillian will receive internship placements at top fashion companies, where they will be matched with an executive mentor who will guide and assist them in networking with industry contacts.

Courtney Vander Linden, a 2014 graduate of LIM, was also at the YMA FSF event to present Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., with an award for his achievement in fashion. As a Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship finalist last year, Courtney secured an internship at Levi Strauss & Co., which led to a full-time position.

The NRF Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation. The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

This year, the NRF Foundation awarded $100,000 in scholarships to 24 outstanding students as a part of its Next Generation Scholarship program. Twenty-four students pursuing retail careers from NRF member schools were awarded a travel scholarship to attend Retail’s BIG Show and the NRF Student Program in at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. From those students, five were selected as finalists for Next Generation Scholarships.

Biancha received her award at the NRF Foundation’s inaugural gala on at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. LIM College Fashion Industry Advisory Board member Shawn Outler, who was recently named as Macy’s Senior Vice President -Weddings/Gifts and Multicultural Business Development, was also honored by the NRF Foundation that evening.