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Hicksville Native Wins FIT Award

Hicksville native Jae Lee recently rose to the top of his senior class at New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), winning the Critic Award for sportswear. But fashion wasn’t the path that Lee originally chose.

In high school, Lee excelled in art classes and thought that he wanted to go to college and major in fine arts. However, he said, it was while watching an episode of “Project Runway” that he had a revelation. “All of a sudden I was thinking that it was something I could/should do and that’s what kind of led to it,” he said. He made up his mind that he was going to apply to fashion school and enlisted the help of one of his art teachers in school to help him. “We really scrambled and put together this presentation in about two weeks, where other people, I’m sure, worked on theirs for months,” he said. Lee said that when he went to present his portfolio, he didn’t think the meeting went well at all. “Everyone was really well prepared,” he said. But, he admitted, it must have gone better than he thought, because he was accepted to FIT.

Fast forward four years and Lee began working on FIT’s Critic Award, an award that everyone in the class is eligible for. “In senior year especially, everyone is so talented. It pushes you to work harder, but it definitely makes you insecure to see the talent that surrounds you. There were moments when I questioned my designs, but my friends and my teachers were just telling me, ‘Jae, make what you make in the best way you can,’ and that’s what I did,” he said.

When he first met with the critic, he wasn’t sure that she liked his designs at all. “I was disappointed after the first meeting,” he said. “But once she saw the garments, that’s when I think she changed her view,” he said. Lee went to work making the pieces the best way that he could, often staying at school until 2 a.m. to get things done, and followed the critic’s advice when it came to refining his designs. “Fashion school is a lot of physical work and a lot of hours,” he said, “but you have to love it.”

All the hard work paid off when a friend said to him, “I want to be the first to congratulate you on your award!” Not knowing and not believing he could have won, he went to check and found out that he was, in fact, the winner of the FIT Critic Award.

“I was in shock. The shock was so, so big that I couldn’t even call my family right away,” he said. His winning design was featured on “The Future of Fashion” — FIT’s annual end-of-year runway show.

After college, Lee is looking forward to taking the summer “off” to finish his award-winning line and create a lookbook, and has dreams of moving to Europe to work in high-end fashion. However, no matter what he does, he said that the unwavering support system that surrounds him will always be a reason for him to continue to excel in his career path. “Especially in the fashion industry, having support from the people around you is really important. My parents have sacrificed a lot for me, for my dreams and aspirations, and I really can’t thank them enough. My family, friends, colleagues, and professors —without them, I honestly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I definitely want to thank them for their support and guidance,” he said.

 

News

It was quite a panel at the Hicksville Community Center Oct. 20 as State Senator Jack Martins and Senate Candidate Adam Haber discussed their qualifications and answered public questions about their upcoming election bids in the 7th Senate District. Congressman Steve Israel was on hand as well as 13 District State Assemblyman Michael Montesano and contender Lou Imbroto. The event was hosted by Northwest Civic Association President Joel Berse.

Martins, who previously served as Mayor of Mineola and was elected to Senate in 2011, said that the State of New York is in much better financial shape since he has taken office.

Alan Yu, an external auditor from the firm, Cullen & Danowski LLP gave the findings of the annual district external audit at Oct. 22’s Hicksville Board of Education meeting. Discussed at the meeting were the financial statements of the 2013-14 school year which officially ended June 30.

According to Yu, the Hicksville School district has a fund balance of $34 million. Roughly 26 to 27 percent of the general fund balance comprises the total budget.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Safe Trick or Treat

October 31

Election Day

November 4

Senior Luncheon

November 6



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