Ashley Stewart Leadership Scholarship winners Ginnette Dimanche and Brooke Lugo Smith
Fashion brand Ashley Stewart established the Ashley Stewart Leadership Scholarship to help empower women through education. The organization collaborates with dozens of universities across the country to host its #AshleyCollegeTour, which promotes the scholarship program. Following an application process, one female student is selected from each partnering school to receive a $5,000 scholarship. This year two Medgar Ever College students were selected.
Sophomore Ginette Dimanche and Junior Brooke Lugo Smith were selected for being strong leaders who demonstrate stewardship in the community. Both women say it was a surprise.
I thought, wow someone sees me that way and nominated me for this, said Ginette Dimanche. I felt awestruck and honored.
It feels amazing, said Brooke Lugo Smith. I think more than anything you see all of these scholarships online, review them, and know that you qualify for them but you know there is a large pool of candidates so you do not expect to actually win.
While the scholarship will help them pursue their education, the honor has encouraged them to pursue their passions.
For Lugo Smith, who is a Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) student, President of the SEEK student Association, and President of the Alpha Mu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the scholarship makes her dreams possible. Through the work she has done with The Baby Resource Center, the non-profit organization she founded that offers education and support for families affected by pregnancy and infant loss, Lugo said she has found her calling.
â€œI want to get my MSW and ultimately become a clinical social worker, said Lugo.
Dimanche, who is a part of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and works full-time, said the scholarship allows her to reach a goal she set for herself; to study abroad at least once each academic year.
â€œBecause of my passion for study abroad, whenever I travel it is always through scholarship, said Dimanche. I have always been aware that [applying for] scholarships would be a huge part of my life.â€
Dimanche’s love for travel also inspires her desire to apply for a CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies (CUNY BA) degree in Global Public Health Administration.
Ashley Stewart designs professional and casual clothing for full-figured women. It was founded in Brooklyn, New York, in 1991.