Philadelphia University fashion design student Vivian Cooper ’17 has been named one of eight national finalists in the prestigious $30,000 Geoffrey Beene scholarship competition, part of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in January.
Cooper was selected to move on in the competition from an original pool of 570 students from leading collegiate fashion and fashion merchandising programs around the country. This year’s finalists include students from the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and the University of California at Los Angeles.
“I feel honored and blessed to have been chosen as a finalist in this prestigious competition,” Cooper said. “The countless amount of hours, prayers and effort put into my submission have been well worth it, and I’m forever thankful to my amazing professors, friends and family, all of whom helped and supported me from start to finish.”
Cooper was one of nine PhilaU fashion students who won $5,000 in the first phase of the YMA scholarship competition announced in January, and she received another $10,000 for becoming one of the finalists.
At this stage of the competition, the finalists must prepare a detailed case study of their work, which they will present to the Fashion Scholarship Fund executive committee in January. Members include high-level executives, presidents and CEOs of major fashion companies.
“Vivian displays such tremendous drive, hard work and determination,” said Sheila Connelly, director of PhilaU’s fashion design program. “We’re extremely proud of her and thrilled that she was selected from such a talented pool.”
Moving forward, 16 PhilaU fashion design and fashion merchandising and management students–the most ever–will compete in next year’s YMA fashion scholarship competition. They include fashion design students Maria Balestino, Emily DeBernardo, Keren Espina, Vanessa Fath, Jenna Johnson, Jessica Roberts, Colton Snavely and Emily VanHorn and fashion merchandising and management students Lauren Vastano, Julia Pilch, Nicole Braun, Zoe Wilson, Carolyn Peper, Alexandra Demones, Madeline Bill and Isabella Siravo. The winners of the $5,000 scholarships will be announced in January 2017.
Most recently, PhilaU fashion design alumna Tia Pion ’15 was a Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship finalist for 2015.
The YMA association, made up of fashion industry leaders, promotes education of the fashion arts and business through scholarships, internships, mentorships and career programs to talented students.