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South Surrey teen with passion for fashion awarded one of four sewing machines

Sew Fun(d) scholarship looking to present six more machines
Rein Ogdang, in Grade 9 at Semiahmoo Secondary, received one of four sewing machines awarded by the Sew Fun(d) scholarship program in December 2022. Scholarship manager MaryAn Webb presented the machine. (Contributed photo)

A scholarship program that aims to help high school students take their creativity and love of fibre arts to the next level is encouraging applications from those interested in receiving one of six sewing machines up for grabs to youth in the Lower Mainland.

The Sew Fun(d) program, launched in December 2022, is an initiative of the non-profit, Our Social Fabric, an organization which takes waste fabric and sewing-related materials from designers, the movie industry and wholesalers and then makes them available for purchase by the general public, both online and in person.

The Sew Fun(d) scholarship is exclusively for students in Grades 8-12.

Its first four machines – each valued at more than $900 – were awarded just before Christmas, with one of the recipients being Semiahmoo Secondary Grade 9 student Rein Ogdang.

According to a news release, Ogdang nominated himself for the award, stating he was “a hard-working student,” and promising to “effectively take advantage of the opportunity” that a sewing machine would provide.

Ogdang elaborated that he regularly works on hoodie designs at home, and aims to one day be a fashion designer, “to be able to dress people in a way that makes them feel confident and beautiful.”

“I want to be able to design clothing that is both stylish and practical, and that can be worn by all shapes and sizes,” he said.

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The scholarship program “aims to encourage the next generation of designers and sewing enthusiasts,” the release states, by helping recipients build their skills, provide creative inspiration and build self-confidence.

Sew Fun(d) manager MaryAn Webb said giving away the first four machines “really gave us an insight into how life-changing this gift can be.”

“We’re taking away some of the financial barriers faced by young designers, giving them the freedom to explore their creativity and widen their career opportunities in the longer term.”

Ogdang’s application was among more than 50 received for the first machines. Other recipients were from Port Moody (Rona Maynard-Doyon), Richmond (Lexi Lawson) and Vancouver (Advienne Luong).

Applicants for the Sew Fun(d) scholarship do not have to be in a sewing program, but “must be passionate about the fibre arts.”

The deadline to apply (visit is midnight April 7. Successful applicants will be notified on April 21.
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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