Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Kunz Receives YMA Fashion Scholarship

Graduating from St. Barnabas in 2010, and DeLand High School’s IB program in 2014, Michelle is now in her second year at the University of Florida studying Marketing and Retail. It was during the fall semester of her sophomore year in college when she discovered the $5,000 YMA Fashion Scholarship and decided that she was going to pursue this rigorous opportunity. Operated by a non-profit in New York, the application process includes receiving an annual case study where participants must construct a creative marketing campaign in report format to fit the requirements of the case. Upon review in New York, only a selection of submissions are rewarded.

“I was nervous when I first looked at this year’s case study, but I knew I had to complete it because the opportunities outweighed the challenges.” Says Michelle regarding the beginning of the process. Throughout the semester she completed a fourteen page-marketing plan regarding the beauty sample subscription service, Birchbox and ways to increase their loyal customer base. She explains her idea as “a creative new way to profile customers according to the way they relate to trends throughout various decades.”

Upon the news of her receiving this prestigious fashion scholarship, Michelle will be traveling to New York City in early January to attend a gala with the YMA Organization to celebrate her achievement along with 200 other scholars. The following day she will be attending an internship fair to talk with recruiters from various well-known retail companies regarding potential opportunities in the city, something Michelle describes as “a dream come true.”

She is one of two students from UF who were awarded this scholarship, and one of 200 selected total from schools around the United States. Michelle credits her drive for success with her middle school experience at St. Barnabas, where she developed a passion for challenging herself outside of her limits. “During my time at St. Barnabas, I discovered that the motivation behind achieving my goals was rooted in working with students who were also motivated to make a difference one day.” She is anxiously awaiting her trip to New York!

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