Amiyra Perkins (3rd Quarter, 2006)

3rd Quarter, 2006
Art Scholarship Winner
Amirya Perkins

She is currently a first year student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in the Textile/Surface Design program, where she hopes to receive her bachelor’s degree.

A Portion of Amiyra’s Winning Essay:

Amirya Perkins
Amirya Perkins

My Humble Beginnings:

I was five years old when I realized I did not want to be a doctor, lawyer or Indian chief. I was the curly-haired girl who drew cartoons in the corners of my homework. I would come home from school and draw cartoon strips full of wild, vivid characters. One day I awoke and realized I enjoyed drawing their clothes more than developing their personalities. Shortly thereafter, when the passion that burned inside me grew uncontrollable, I started making my own line of clothing–miniature size of course.

Mattel was looking at their newest designer, a first grader who just knew she had an eye for fashion. Pretty sequined gowns and hot pink plastic shoes were no longer needed to make my Barbie doll look good. With limited means, it was up to me, my three dolls and a pair of safety scissors to make my weekly fashion shows a go. When my Mother would ask me why I no longer had a matching pair of socks, I would give her my best smile and shrug my shoulders. Socks were my chiffon; they made any dress look beautiful. I could create my own haute couture collection from my purple Hanes socks. I even chopped up their hair to give them an avant garde look before I knew what avant garde was.

Part Deux:

Fast forward to middle school, a suspended stage of awkwardness. Could I be the typical twelve-year-old who was trying to fit in? Of course not, I was the quirky, off-beat kid who created my own sense of style. I was the girl who wore strange clothes and stranger colors when everyone else was wearing light khaki and dark khaki. I was not the whiny pre-teen standing in front of the store window saying, “Ooh Mommy, I want that!” pointing to the mannequin. That would be too easy. I had to be en vogue, a 3-D palette for what everybody should be wearing. (Refer back to light khaki and dark khaki).

I was not the conventional girl, and in any case, how could I be? I was preoccupied with the Junior Beta Club, the Principal’s Writing Club and working on the school yearbook. All my time and energy went into design and school. By the time I was in eighth grade, it felt like I was going to the front office every week receiving different honors and awards, yet another thing that made me stand out from the rest. I was proud of my accomplishments, but I knew I needed better social skills. Don’t get me wrong, I had a very tight core of friends, but I needed other people in my life to show me things I was missing out on. “No, I will not be a cheerleader”, I replied in response to my friend begging me to try out with her. Everyone knew I was not the cheerleader type. I was not bubbly or athletic. I was the quiet intellectual who enjoyed the annual Shakespeare Fest at Lake Eola. Against my better judgment, I went to the tryouts and walked out satisfied that I did not make a fool of myself in front of girls I did not socialize with. A week later I could feel my heart beat faster when my friend dragged me to the list (a piece of paper that could make or break you). My name was on the list–I was actually a cheerleader. Not only did I go against my original intentions, I became a captain and a Universal Cheerleading Association All-Star.

Between pirouettes and toe touches and creating my masterpieces and fashion trends, I maintained a 4.0 GPA. I could spout off all the hues of the color wheel in three languages–English, Spanish, and Johannes Itten. On a serious note, my strong academics and determination earned me the prestigious Disney Dreamer and Doer Award. This award was my launch pad into high school for pursuit of my dream.

Flowers Really Do Bloom:

Onward to the next segment of my life, the so-called best years of my life, also known as high school. Instead of trying to fit in or become popular, I decided to spend my time investing in my character and expanding my horizons. I auditioned for the Dazzler Dance Team, and after making it, I knew immediately I wanted to be a dancer for the remainder of high school. Competitions kept me busy, and my homework load allowed little free time. As the year passed, I realized I needed a job.

That summer I began working at Sihle Insurance Group. Would I rather be sewing than entering codes into the computer? Of course, but working there gave me a job for the next two summers, much needed money for the purchase of fabric, notions, and thread and the work experience I would need for the future. Instead of spending my spring break in Daytona or my winter break under mistletoe, I worked for the insurance group. In tenth grade I allowed myself some time on the weekends, when there was a free weekend, to be with friends and family.

As I matured and moved into my junior and senior years, I became more serious and dedicated to enrolling in college and pursuing my dream. A typical week for me includes fifteen hours dancing, thirty hours at school, countless hours in my room doing homework and ten to twelve hours working in the office. My life is so scheduled there are days I have to pencil in READ VOGUE or TAKE SHOWER. I am perfecting my time management skills–I have to.

Despite this schedule I manage to keep a high GPA. Seeing my transcript always makes me smile because I know I am accomplishing all of my goals and assignments. The first time in high school I realized I was truly proud of my accomplishments was the night I was inducted into the National Honor Society. It was such a great honor for me. After that night, I knew I wanted to become more involved in the school. I joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Chi, and this year I auditioned for the annual Miss SHS competition. The results will be announced in late January.

One of my biggest strengths is my determination to succeed. I have never been a bench warmer, and I do not plan to be one. I have strong morals and a huge commitment for every aspect of my life. I am definitely a team player and a fair player. Although I have numerous strengths, I have a few weaknesses as well. I never plan to, but oft times if there is something I am not particularly excited about, I tend to procrastinate. Not to worry, I always get everything done on time. It just might take me a couple days to get started is all.

What is there to say about the dance team? For starters we are State, National and International Champions. We travel all across the state of Florida and to Texas to demonstrate our dance abilities. Coming from a small town few people have heard of makes us underdogs in the competitions, but we always come out on top.

This year I am honored to be one of the Dazzler Officers and a member of the Elite dancers. It is nice to see all my hard work pay off. It is also a plus having a resume that includes dancing with Mariah Carey, Brian Setzer and Paulina Rubio, as well as marching in the annual Disney Christmas parade. This year I assisted in the design of our high kick costume for the UDA Nationals Competition.

I have learned many life lessons while participating with such a large team. Even with eighty girls, all of us are unique. I love working with so many people. I enjoy learning new routines and learning from others. Although I take pleasure in being a team player, a weakness is my impatience when others do not do their share. I am learning to step back, take a deep breath and try to motivate them.

High school has definitely been my time to shine, and I will continue to, through my actions, strong academics and sacrifices to achieve my objectives. Moving from Florida to New York will be a big change, but I am looking forward to it. I love that the Fashion Institute of Technology is located in the heart of the fashion district. It is an every day reminder that I am living my dream of becoming a fashion designer. It is equally important to have a faculty that has as much passion in their field as their students. The faculty at Fashion Institute is well-known and established, which is why FIT is my first choice. As far as I am concerned, a school that produced such renowned designers as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Vera Wang is the ideal school for me. I would like nothing more than to follow in their footsteps and become the next designer worn by celebrities. The next time Charlize Theron wears a gown, I hope they ask “Who made your dress?” and she answers, “It’s an Amiyra.”

Copyright 2007, All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top