A Grade 9 student at Semiahmoo Secondary has been named one of the first-ever winners of a new scholarship award dedicated to promoting a new generation of sewers in B.C.
Semiahmoo Secondary’s Rein Ogdang was named one of four inaugural winners of the Sew Fun(d) Scholarship Award by Our Social Fabric, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable textile and fabric practices.
The prize is a new sewing machine valued at over $900, meant to provide the tools to encourage passionate young designers to refine their craft and continue their journey with textiles and fabrics.
Ogdang said he hopes to continue working on his designs for hoodies, something he’s excited to be able to do at home when he’s not in the classroom.
“I constantly try to improve myself doing layouts of my hoodie design. Getting this sewing machine takes away the financial burden to my family,” he said in his application.
According to his home economics teacher Rachel Rogers, Ogdang’s passion for design and fashion really came to the surface during a class project where students designed their own hoodies.
“That was a project that really interested him,” said Rogers. “Before that, I don’t know if textiles was his favourite class, but he really took off with that project and was very excited by the possibilities.”
For his hoodie design, Ogdang took several bandanas and incorporated the patterns and designs into the hood lining and sleeves.
“Most of the students had single-coloured hoodies like black and grey, but Rein’s was this very unique hoodie,” explained Rogers. “Rein’s stepdad thought his design was very cool and so Rein had wanted to make one for his stepdad and expressed that he was hoping to get a machine of his own to continue working on them at home.”
Rogers heard about the Sew Fun(d) award and encouraged Ogdang to apply. He was notified during the winter break that he was one the winners.
“He was very excited to have won,” said Rogers. “The machine that he was awarded will last a long time and I know that Our Social Fabric purposefully chose a machine that will allow the students to get lots of use out of them.”
As for the future, Ogdang said he hopes to pursue fashion as a career, something this award will help him follow.
“My goal as a fashion designer someday is to be able to dress people in a way that makes them feel confident and beautiful,” he wrote. “I want to be able to design clothing that is both stylish and practical, and that can be worn by of all shapes and sizes.”
For more information on Our Social Fabric, visit oursocialfabric.ca.
The second round of Sew Fun(d) applications are now open, with submissions being accepted until midnight, April 7. To learn more and apply, click here.