Kent State’s Fashion School Receives a Letter With a Touching Request
The Kent State University Fashion School gets a lot of requests for their world-renowned designs and high-tech creations, but an old-fashioned letter that arrived in the mail on Sept. 10, 2015, contained a request unlike anything they had ever received.
It came from a sixth grader named Karla who attends the AVID College Preparatory program in Perris, California.
“Sierra Vista Elementary School is a Title I school,” Karla writes. “It means that about 90 percent of my classmates come from economically disadvantaged homes. I am one those kids, and I have made the choice to go to college to be a successful person.”
Karla goes on to explain how she wants to grow up to be a fashion designer, and that her ultimate goal is to attend Kent State one day. She requested any advice that would help her get into the Fashion School in the future.
“I’ve been drawing sketches, and I’m starting to sew a dress,” Karla writes. “It is something I’ve enjoyed since I was little, and it would be an honor to go to your school. I know that your school will help me reach my dreams. I want to be able to make my parents and teachers proud of me.”
“The letter is lovely,” said Kevin Wolfgang, outreach manager for the Kent State Fashion School’s TechStyle Lab. “We were all so touched to read that out of all the fashion schools, she wants to be a part of Kent State. It was really important for us to take the time to send something nice to her.”
With the help of Diana Ryman, administrative assistant for Kent State’s University Communications and Marketing, and Donna Laverne, special assistant for Kent State’s Fashion School, they sent some memorabilia to Karla, including the school’s annual fashion show catalogue with a quote on the back from designer Jean Paul Gaultier, “You see me, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I became a fashion designer. So I think that everything is possible.
Wolfgang wanted to take it a step further and give Karla something to remind her of her dreams every time she went to sleep at night. He designed a pillow with a picture of Kent State’s Fashion School on one side and a quote from Karla’s letter on the other.
“For me, this has brought about a lot of joy – joy in reading the letter and joy in giving,” Wolfgang said. “Taking the time to design and sew the pillow was well worth the investment. It’s good to create those moments in life because you never know what’s going to happen as a result.”
Long before those in the Fashion School read the letter and designed the pillow, Karla expressed her gratitude.
“I cannot wait to attend your school in six years,” she wrote. “Thank you for your assistance.”
Wolfgang would like to see the letter turn into a visit to campus one day and ultimately an acceptance letter to Kent State.
“It’s important to start these conversations early and watch people get inspired,” he said. “It’s important to engage the community and to be good stewards and show how education inspires and impacts society.”