TWO YEARS AGO, Ebony Staten was scrolling through her Instagram feed and stopped at a post by Michelle Obama. It was a photo of her at Princeton University in the early ’80s with a message to her fellow first-generation college students: Be brave and stay with it, because education profoundly changed her life.
“Just like Oprah, I had my great ‘aha’ moment,” Staten recalls. The 33-year-old systems analyst and Charlotte native had been the first in her family to attend college, too. She wanted a way to give back and support other first-generation college students, so she launched The Vogue Room Foundation to provide dorm room makeovers.
The Vogue Room Foundation is an offshoot of Staten’s interior design boutique, The Vogue Room, which merges her love of high fashion and interiors. The program selects first-generation female college students to receive a full interior design and installation of her dorm room. The scholarship is available to high school students in North Carolina who are on track to attend an in-state college or university. Applicants must provide transcripts, extracurricular activities, and a 250-word essay that describes what it means to them to be a first-generation college student.
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