New $25,000 scholarship available for Kent State fashion majors

Sasha Chinchar

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores has joined with the School of Fashion to offer a new $25,000 scholarship opportunity to first-generation fashion design and merchandising majors in Spring 2012.

The scholarship fund will support a yearly $5,000 scholarship for over a span of five years.

“We’re thrilled,” said Margaret Skinner, director of corporate communications for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. “We couldn’t be more excited to have this relationship with Kent State and to also be in the position as a company to offer this to students.”

To receive the scholarship, students must have a 3.5 GPA and be a first-generation college student. The scholarship may be applied to various costs associated with attending Kent State including tuition, travel and program fees.

“We want to enable opportunities for students who typically wouldn’t have had that kind of history within their own family,” Skinner said. “There are many students out there whose parents have not attended college. We thought it was very important that we created the opportunity for students to go forward with their career.”

Scholarship recipients will also be selected based on involvement in activities relating to fabrics, crafts or sewing. All applicants must write a statement as to why they are applying for the scholarship and what it means to them to be the first in their family to commit to graduating with a four-year degree.

Jo-Ann Stores has had a long relationship with Kent State’s School of Fashion. The company has offered the Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. Endowed Scholarship for over seven years.

Shawn Gordon, director of advancement for the College of the Arts, said the new scholarship is taking the relationship with Kent State and Jo-Ann Stores one step further.

“It’s great to have a company like Jo-Ann Stores that gives back to the community,” Gordon said.

After the five years, Gordon said she hopes Jo-Ann Stores will continue the scholarship.

“We have every intent to do something beyond the five years, but it’s very difficult to look that far forward because a lot of our strategic plans go for three years” Skinner said.

Skinner said she thinks the university, students and Jo-Ann Stores will benefit from the scholarship.

Sasha Chinchar is a Summer Kent Stater reporter.

Contact Chinchar at [email protected].