Tough Economy No Match for Creative Scholarship Recipients

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In today's challenging economic environment, the thought of financing a college education can be daunting. For five talented students, attending the college of their dreams just got a lot easier. Each has been awarded a full one-year scholarship to attend FIDM/The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Project Runway star Nick Verreos

I have a passion and love for the fashion industry, and it is going to be very inspiring to be surrounded by those who feel the same way. FIDM will give me the tools to push me ahead of the competition.

In today's challenging economic environment, the thought of financing a college education can be daunting. For five talented students, attending the college of their dreams just got a lot easier. FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is proud to announce the winners of the National Scholarship Competition 2009. Each scholarship recipient has been awarded a full one-year scholarship to attend FIDM, a private college with four campuses in California.

Counted among FIDM's nearly 40,000 graduates are eight "Project Runway" contestants (including "Season 5" winner Leanne Marshall, a previous National Scholarship recipient); renowned fashion designers such as Monique Lhuillier, Randolph Duke, and Kevan Hall; and numerous leaders in the worlds of fashion, interior design, and entertainment.

The celebrity guest judge for this year's competition was none other than charismatic "Project Runway: Season 2" star Nick Verreos. An alumnus of FIDM and a current instructor, Verreos played a key role in choosing this year's scholarship recipients who were tasked with completing a special project in their individual area of study.

The 2009 National Scholarship Competition winners are as follows:

Hillary Harper for Fashion Executive of Tomorrow
Maelee Lungren for Interior Designer of Tomorrow
Sarah Chiarot for Graphic Designer of Tomorrow
Nathan Braun for Fashion Designer of Tomorrow
Sarah Friesen for Visual Designer of Tomorrow

"I expect to have the boundaries of my potential stretched to their maximum capacity," says Interior Designer of Tomorrow winner Maelee Lungren. "FIDM will educate and challenge me in a manner that will prepare me to hit the ground running into a career of my choice after graduation."

"Visiting FIDM Orange County in the summer of 2008 for the 3 Days of Fashion Event, I felt at home," adds Fashion Executive of Tomorrow winner Hillary Harper. "I have a passion and love for the fashion industry, and it is going to be very inspiring to be surrounded by those who feel the same way. FIDM will give me the tools to push me ahead of the competition."

Visual Design category winner Sarah Friesen looks forward to a wide array of career prospects made possible only by FIDM. "FIDM offers the professional and artistic skills that will help me succeed in the fashion industry. One day I hope to design storefront window displays for Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters."

To students of fashion, creative business, and entertainment, FIDM offers an amazing opportunity for growth. Leaders in these industries are typically made, not born, and FIDM teaches the skills necessary to reach that vaunted plateau. Graphic Design winner Sarah Chiarot sums it up best: "FIDM offers an atmosphere where everything is built around creativity. Living in Los Angeles, I expect to grow as an artist and find what I truly want to do with my life."

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