Kingston High School grad wins scholarship to Fashion Institute in L.A.

Paulyna Garcia Aceves won a one year scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for the 2011-12 school year.  - Kipp Robertson/ Herald
Paulyna Garcia Aceves won a one year scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for the 2011-12 school year.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Herald

LOS ANGELES — All the paperwork for financial aid was signed as Paulyna Garcia Aceves prepared to begin school at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for the 2011-12 school year.

The two-year program Garcia planned to enter cost about $30,000 per year.

As it turns out, Garcia Aceves, 19, is now paying for one year at the school, instead of two.

Garcia Aceves, a 2011 Kingston High School graduate, won a full-year scholarship to the school for her fashion merchandising entry to the Prom Advice Scholarship Competition, held by the Fashion Institute. The annual competition, open to high school juniors and seniors, asks for a prom-related project focusing on fashion design or merchandising.

“I already had financial aid for FIDM,” she said. “After I found out I won, I cancelled it all. It was really great. Now I don’t owe anything.”

Entering the scholarship contest was not exactly planned.

Garcia Aceves said she found out about the contest four days before the deadline. She debated whether she wanted to participate. In all, she spent three days on her project while also finishing her AP Studio Art portfolio for the KHS Arts Department.

For the scholarship contest, Garcia Aceves designed a prom boutique, window display and promotional plans. The contest requirements were similar to application requirements to the school, in which she built a window display and created a 3-D model.

Though she was always interested in fashion and art in general, Garcia Aceves said James Andrews, KHS’s Art Department head, helped re-spark her interest.

Along with her work in the art department, she was business editor and, later, co-editor-in-chief of Kingston High School’s yearbook, “The Voyage.” In August, the yearbook and its staff won a gold medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University in New York. Garcia said yearbook helped her become more proficient in computer programs such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Lisa Gray-Fritz, Kingston’s yearbook adviser and history/social studies instructor, first had Garcia Aceves as a student in eighth grade.

On “The Voyage,” Garcia Aceves worked alongside co-editor Angela Galloway and business editor Stephanie Fyfe, and Gray-Fritz said the three brought the yearbook to “a whole new level.”

“Her sense of style and interest in fashion were apparent from the beginning,” Gray-Fritz said..

Garcia Aceves is now in her second week at FIDM. She’s taking general studies, which has not been difficult for her. However, she expects her workload to pickup shortly.

Eventually, she wants to work at a magazine such as Vogue or Nylon magazine. She would like to work on layout design, visual imaging and as a creative director, she said.


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