Fashion Student from FIDM to Intern at Aleph Surf International in South Africa This Summer

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Product Development Student Ren Leach is pursuing a career in the surf and skate industry and will be going to South Africa for a five-month long internship at the surf wear company Aleph.

FIDM Product Development student Ren Leach will intern at Aleph Surf International in South Africa

I'll be working with the local kids and their families to help restore their local communities.

Ren Leach, a Merchandise Product Development Student at FIDM dreamed of working in the surf and skate industry, so it’s no surprise that the Central Valley, California native headed south to study in Orange County – the capital of the action sports industry.

In June, Ren will be heading to Jeffreys Bay, South Africa to work at Aleph Surf International, a pioneering program that mixes surf coaching, mentorship, and life skills workshops. “I'll be working with the local kids and their families to help restore their local communities,” explains Ren, who is raising funds for her trip by selling handbags from her line The Mermaid & The Mountain.

“Aleph is designed to work with the kids through recreational sports, like surfing and skating. It's going to be rad as well because I get to work with Vanessa Van Zyl, a graduate from FIDM who runs Aleph, in the factory where they employ the kids' parents with jobs to support their families.”

Ren says that she is looking forward to using the skills she has learned at FIDM while she’s enjoying her five-month long internship in South Africa. “I'm so blessed and excited that I get to work with some incredibly caring and creative people as well as make a positive impact in the lives of children,” she adds. “I screamed for a good half hour when I found out I got the internship – I was stoked to say the least!”

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is a co-educational, specialized, private college dedicated to educating students for the Fashion, Graphics, Interior Design, and Entertainment industries. Known as a one of the top fashion design schools, FIDM is also a leading graphic design school and digital media college. Visit for more information.

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