N.C. A&T Student Selected as Retailer Ashley Stewart's First Leadership Scholarship Recipient

Lydeah Kearse, Ashley Stewart Scholarship winnerGreensboro, N.C. (Aug. 24, 2017) - North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University sophomore and College of Business and Economics student, Lydeah Kearse is the inaugural winner of the Ashley Stewart Leadership Scholarship. The international retailer will award Kearse the $10,000 scholarship in September in Brooklyn, New York.

In April, N.C. A&T and the company launched an initiative to help empower women through education, which included a scholarship awarded to a female student who exemplifies strong leadership skills in the business and economics disciplines and who demonstrates stewardship in her community.

Kearse will be honored during the “Finding Ashley Stewart 2017” finale where the winner of the inaugural competition will be announced on Sept. 16, 2017 at Kings Theatre. Multi-platinum singing group, En Vogue will headline the event that will also feature performances by the Brooklyn United Marching Band, New Jersey's legendary 'Xinos Step Team', as well as teen Hip Hop dancer Amanda LaCount, who has appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Guest judges include Erin Brady, Gwen DeVoe, Carl Banks, Kym Hampton, Vivian Scott Chew. Special remarks will come from Marc Morial and the event will be hosted by actor and model, Boris Kodjoe.

Per the scholarship requirements, Kearse submitted an application and essay describing how she demonstrates leadership qualities. After being identified as one of 10 finalists, it was her one-minute personal video that resonated with the Ashley Stewart team.

“Growing up and competing nationally [as a dancer], I found that the lack of diversity in dance was common everywhere,” Kearse said in the video. “I believe leadership is emulating the change that you want to see through action. I led by example to show young black girls that the dance world is a place for them. I will continue my leadership by expanding representation of all races in the dance world. With my passion and opportunities like the Ashley Stewart scholarship, I know I can make my dreams a reality.”

Upon the launch of the Ashley Stewart Scholarship initiative with N.C. A&T, Ashley Stewart executive chairman and CEO, James Rhee, hosted a private equity workshop on the university’s campus for students to learn how to manage money and invest in consumer brands.

The launch also included a fireside chat with Rhee and Patricia Miller Zollar, managing director at Neuberger Berman, as well as a personal branding seminar. Both were broadcast live on Facebook thanks to a partnership with iOne Digital.

Founded in 1991 in Brooklyn, New York, Ashley Stewart is a global fashion and lifestyle brand that stands for uncompromising style, fashion, fit and empowerment for the woman who flaunts her curves.