My name is Melissa Waters; I am in my fourth year at Kent State University, majoring in Fashion Design with minors in Textiles and Metals/Jewelry. Over these past years at Kent State, my love and appreciation for fashion and wearable art has grown tremendously. My senior year of high school, I realized that fashion design was what I wanted to do; however, in the beginning, majority of my family and friends didn't think that it was the smartest decision because I originally wanted to be in engineering. Now, they were just trying to look out for me, but I had my mind set on fashion. I fell in love with Kent State University, ranked top 5 for their fashion program in the nation, and so I set off to college, being one of the first in my family to go straight to a University after high school and the only one to move onto campus for that true college experience. Throughout the years, I have worked extremely hard, juggling jobs, internships and the intense work load of being in Kent's fashion design program, seeing as my parents cannot afford to help me out with school or living expenses, so everything I do is on my own. Each year when I go off to school all of my loved ones expect to hear from me maybe once a month because I am so dedicated to my work; I eat, breath and live for my art work. This past semester (spring 2015), I have entered into several competitions for my illustration work, I have also ushered for Kent's annual fashion show and had an internship with a local company about an hour from Kent, as well as a part time job, my Junior Studio II class (6 credits) and my metals classes. I get an average of 5 hours of sleep a night, but the week before a project is due, I sleep one hour a night on the window sill of the fashion building and only leave to go to work, my internship or to the metals studio. This past summer is when I truly found exactly what I want to do. I had the opportunity to go to Paris and study at the Paris American Academy under some really amazing and experienced couturiers, milliners and artists. All of July for about 9 hours a day, we studied Haute Couture sewing techniques, shibori dying, nunofelting, Millinery and accurate feather application. We also had an amazing opportunity to work backstage dressing and organizing for several shows for Paris A/W Haute Couture Fashion Week; it was absolutely life changing and amazing being able to touch these garments that are all hand sewn and have had 300+ hours spent on each, see how the shows are run, being able to interact with the models and able to help out for these shows. Even the experience of being out of the country for the second time, in a city I've dreamed about going as a kid, just inspired me, let alone the atmosphere of the fashion and the art. Throughout all of the hard work from this last summer and really these last several years, I know that eventually I want to open up my own couture house in Paris; I know it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of dedication to get there, but I think I can do it. My proposal to whomever is reading this, is to help me get one step closer. Help fund me to get back to Paris for an internship at a Couture house, so that I am one step closer to my dreams.