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MSU Student Sadie Pierce Named Among 25 Semi-Finalists for NRF Foundation's 2018 Next Generation Scholarship

10-25-17 - Contact: Ana Serafin Smith -

WASHINGTON – The NRF Foundation today announced 25 students as semi-finalists for its Next Generation Scholarship program, which provides financial support to college students pursuing careers or majors relevant to retail. In a new phase of the competition this year, semi-finalists will be required to complete a written project and interview with an assigned retailer.

“True to its name, this scholarship identifies and rewards the retail industry’s brightest rising stars,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We adjusted the application process this year to attract a wider pool of qualified students, and ended up with a truly talented group from schools across the country. All of our semi-finalists exhibit remarkable leadership skills and will no doubt make their mark on the retail industry.”

In the first phase of the competition, 99 applicants from 42 schools submitted an essay, a personal brand video, two letters of recommendation, a resume and school transcripts. A panel of retail executives judged those materials to select the semi-finalists, and a second panel of retail experts will use the new written projects and interviews to select five finalists. Of the finalists, four will each receive a $10,000 scholarship and one will receive a $25,000 scholarship.

The semi-finalists are:

Natalie Alonzo, Pennsylvania State University
Shane Baglione, University of Florida
Marlowe Camblin, Santa Clara University
Jessa Chargois, Cornell University
Lea Chen, University of Pennsylvania
Rachelle Duperoux, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Tyshaia Earnest, Kent State University
Madeline Harpham, University of Georgia
Isabel Jimenez, Savannah College of Art and Design
Paige Lindsey, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Amaya Linsey, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Brian Lucksinger, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Katarina Mejean, University of Delaware
Courtney Nash, University of Arizona
Ariel Norris, Butler University
Carlo Pardo, Savannah College of Art and Design
Sadie Lee Pierce, Mississippi State University
Brittany Rhoa, Kent State University
Kelly Skoglund, University of Georgia
Emylee Smith, Ohio University
Mollina So, Kent State University
Kathryn Steib, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Nick Trifelos, Butler University
Reanne Wang, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Hannah Witteried, Butler University
The top recipient will be announced on stage in front of hundreds of retail CEOs and insiders at the NRF Foundation Gala, January 14, during NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show. In addition to providing scholarships to the top five students, the Foundation pays travel expenses for all semi-finalists to attend the Foundation’s January 12-14 Student Program, held during NRF 2018.

Along with the scholarship semi-finalists and finalists, more than 700 students are expected to attend the Student Program, where they have the chance to meet executives from some of the industry's most popular brands such as Disney, The Home Depot, Macy’s, West Elm and Nike. Students will hear from retail recruiters offering opportunities for internships, training programs and entry-level career positions, and will learn to leverage their networks to advance their careers through an executive mentoring session.

To learn more about the scholarship, visit the link below.

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