HIGH POINT, N.C. – The women’s leadership development network, WithIt, hosted its annual professional conference in Charleston, S.C. earlier this summer. The organization welcomed 22 students who received scholarships thanks to a $20,000 grant from AHFA’s Furniture Foundation.
The students came from 11 schools and six different states. The scholarships funded an all-expenses paid trip to the conference and a student membership in WithIt. Conference participation gave students the opportunity to meet and network with women from the home furnishings industry while building relevant skills.
Student Annina Fremgen from Kendall College of Art and Design, says the conference was an “inspiring experience to learn from—being within reach of so many successful women and becoming part of a greater community.”
The conference content and speakers unveiled “real world information and trends that helped put context to the hard skills I have learned in the classroom,” she says. Students also attended facilitated dinners and participated in discussions about their individual goals and visions.
“WithIt being able to host 22 students was truly a rewarding feeling,” says Megan Barrett, WithIt’s scholarship vice president. “The students who attended the conference are truly inspiring, not only because of their skills and accomplishments, but also their passion and excitement about the home furnishings industry. Students like these bring fresh energy to the industry.”
The 2018 scholarship recipients are as follows: Christina Brown, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, interior architecture; Keying Chen, Kendall College of Art and Design, furniture design; Elise Crawford, Appalachian State University, interior design; Emily Doll, Randolph Community College, interior design; Busola Duroshola, Philadelphia University, textile design; Annina Fremgen, Kendall College of Art and Design, furniture design; Addison Gantt, High Point University, visual merchandising design; Alyssa Gerasimoff, Rhode Island School of Design, furniture design; Mary Campell Gray, Mississippi State University, interior design; Madison Greene, Appalachian State University, industrial design/product design; Jasmine Gutbrod, Rhode Island School of Design, furniture design; Lauren Hopper, Meredith College, interior design; Kaitlin Huguley, Mississippi State University, interior design/architecture; Yi-En Lee, New York School of Interior Design, interior design; Audrey Mangum, Appalachian State University, interior design; Darby Mangum, Appalachian State University, interior design; Megan Morrow, Randolph Community College, interior design; Ashley Odom, High Point University, interior design; Marley Rush, Meredith College, interior design; Holly Yao, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, home products development.
In 2011, WithIt began their annual program of bringing rising leaders to the professional conference. Since then, over 115 students have participated in the program, many finding internships and jobs through connections made at the conference. Students are hand-picked by their university professors who identify them as achievers.
WithIt will also host a Student Mentoring Day on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The Mentoring Day program has welcomed over 12,000 sophomore and junior students to market for a half day of round tables and showroom tours.