A Charlotte native creates the stylish dorm rooms of many first-generation college students’ dreams.
What’s happening: Local interior designer Ebony Staten offers her styling services to minority first-generation college students in a scholarship through the nonprofit Vogue Room Foundation.
- Since 2018, six students have received full dorm-room makeovers as they entered their freshmen year.
- “We’re promoting innovative thinking and creativity with a well-designed functional dorm-room space,” Staten said.
Why it matters: From tuition fees to books, college expenses add up fast. Some first-generation students may not have the financial support system to fully furnish their living spaces at school, according to Staten.
- She says some students invest hundreds of dollars into decorating a dorm as if it was their apartment. Staten, a first-generation college graduate, went into her freshmen year with a lot of support — but she knows some students aren’t as fortunate.
- “This program was designed to alleviate the burden of financing a child’s dorm decor from a parent’s pockets,” Staten said.
Requirements: The dorm design opportunity is available for minorities and full-time first-generation students attending their first year of college.
- Eligible students must be attending a university in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland or Tennessee.
What’s included: The program supplies one to two winners and dozens of finalists every year with items needed to design their spaces from local small businesses.
- The winner’s makeover will include a custom headboard, wallpaper, wall decor, lamps, desk decor, towels, pillows, bedding and sheet set. They’ll also spend a day with Staten to shop for items to create their desired look.
- Finalists will receive a dorm room starter package, which includes towels, bedding and sheet sets.
How to apply: Applications open every year in the spring and submissions must be in by June 11.
- Those interested have the option to submit an online essay or a video explaining how they’d benefit from the program.
Bonus: There’s also a mentorship opportunity to guide students through their first year of college.
- Staten will follow up with her recipients by offering advice to ensure they have a successful collegiate careers.
What’s next: In the next few years, Staten hopes to partner with additional local interior designers to supply more students with dorm room makeovers.
- Those interested in contributing to the program can provide also provide donations.