Elijah Huggins-English and Dinasty Ly may change the fashion world once they graduate from FIT. Thanks to a major scholarship from Gucci, lack of funds won’t stand in their way.
Huggins-English and Ly are among the 2021 Gucci Changemakers Scholars announced this month. Huggins-English, a rising sophomore studying Fashion Design, and Ly, a rising senior studying Fashion Business Management, specializing in Product Development, each received up to a $20,000 scholarship, in addition to mentorship and virtual internship opportunities through Gucci America.
The Gucci Changemakers Scholarship is a $1.5 million fund over four years, created to provide need-based scholarships to diverse undergraduates interested in fashion. It is one part of Gucci’s multipronged effort to increase diversity in the industry. This year’s class comprises 22 students.
Huggins-English, originally from Atlanta, didn’t attend school last semester because he couldn’t afford tuition. This scholarship was “a tremendous weight off my shoulders, and will allow me to search for other scholarships and be able do my best work,” he says.
The scholarship has also given him the confidence to set more ambitious goals and to show others that they can achieve what they strive for. “I want to work for a fashion house and expand my knowledge so that I can start my own brand,” he says. “The more I put myself out there, the more things come to me, and I want to motivate others to do the same thing.”
Ly, who is originally from Vietnam and now calls Boston home, believes in the power of positive thinking, and had been taking loans out to pay for school, so when she heard about the Changemakers program, “I think I kind of manifested it myself,” she recalls. “I told myself, ‘I’m going to get this scholarship,’ and I actually did!”
Ly, who is trying to figure out her passion while focusing on her school work and internship, will put the scholarship funds toward her final year at FIT.
“This has given me resources I didn’t have before, and will really help with my last year so I don’t have to take out other loans,” she says.