Welcome to the Pack, 2023 Class of Centennial Scholars!

Sarah Jarrell ’23 and Daryn Wilkerson ’23 are among the Wilson College of Textile’s 2023 class of Centennial Scholars.

The NC State mascots, Mr. and Mrs. Wuf, in front of stairs in the spacious alumni center on Centennial Campus.

By Cameron Walker | Wilson College of Textiles News

We are thrilled to introduce you to the 2023 class of Centennial Scholarship recipients. 

This year’s class of scholars have all worked hard to get where they are, and every one of them hopes to make the world a better place. Join us in welcoming them to the Wilson College of Textiles family.

The Centennial Scholarship program was established by the North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF) in 1999 as a part of the Wilson College of Textiles’ Centennial Celebration. The Centennial Scholarship provides each student a minimum of $15,000 per year for four years. These scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen in both the Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management (TATM) and the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science (TECS) on the basis of academic achievement in high school, proven and potential leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and unique life experiences.

The scholarship also provides $7,500 as a special enrichment fund that may be used for study abroad, leadership programs, career explorations or other approved enrichment activities.

The Wilson College of Textiles is proud to say we have the largest per-student college-based scholarship program at NC State. Learn more about the Centennial Scholarship program and all of our scholarship opportunities

Sarah Jarrell ’23

Portrait of Sarah Jarrell in suit coat and red blouse

Sarah Jarrell is from Kernersville, North Carolina, where she attended the North Carolina School of Science and Math. She has been awarded a Park Centennial Scholarship and plans to study Fashion and Textile Design (FTD) with a concentration in Fashion Design.

She found out about the Wilson College of Textiles when researching summer programs during her junior year

“I had been interested in fashion design since competing in a reusable materials event in Technology Student Association in ninth grade, but was never able to follow up on that passion,” she said. “The STEP program gave me the opportunity to do so…Additionally, I was accepted into the mentorship program at my high school and reached out to Wilson College of Textiles professor Dr. Cynthia Istook and asked her to be my mentor. Because of these two, non-related occurrences, I fell in love with the Wilson College of Textiles.”

Jarell has a strong STEM base, and admits that making the choice to pursue a career in fashion was not an easy one. However, her experiences here cemented her decision to attend the Wilson College of Textiles.

“The STEP program opened my eyes to a future where I was not a traditional engineer, but instead an engineer of design, creativity, and fashion,” she said. “I was further exposed to this understanding when I delved into research in fashion at the Wilson College of Textiles during my senior year mentorship experience…I went through the Centennial Scholarship interviews and knew that this is where I wanted to study. STEM had always been a huge part of my life and is something that I am still fascinated with. However, I also know that fashion is my passion and is something I could do for hours on end. Every person I talked to during my interviews encouraged me to look into combining a fashion design major with another STEM major at the Wilson College of Textiles. The support and advice I received from the faculty members, even before I was a student, made me want to be a student.”

For Jarrell, fashion goes far beyond clothes.

“To an overweight, acne-ridden middle school girl, fashion was a means of self-empowerment and confidence,” she said. “Universally, fashion reflects culture, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. It instills a sense of worth and allows us to paint a picture of ourselves for others to see. By majoring in fashion design, I strive to make a mark on the world by instilling that sense of confidence in that girl that was me. I love how fashion gives people the confidence they need to secure the partnership, run the marathon, or even survive their daily lives. The process of making people feel good through what they are wearing combines everything I have ever been interested in: psychology, technology, math, science, design and creativity. Truly amazing things can be accomplished in the fashion industry and I want to be part of it.”

Throughout middle school and high school, she participated in the Technology Student Association, a national organization for students engaged in STEM.

“It exposed me to fields, such as fashion design, that I would have never considered otherwise,” she said. “Through my involvement in the club, I realized that I was good at engineering, but passionate about design. This organization made me the person I am today and encouraged me to dream of a future where I designed for a living. It also exposed me to various leadership roles and enabled me to grow as a leader as I fulfilled the duties each position required of me.”

After graduation, Jarrell hopes to utilize STEM to “design clothing that will make a difference” in some way. 

“Whether that difference is on the environment, dedicated to people with unique bodies, or instilling confidence in that one girl, I will make a difference,” she said.

Daryn Wilkerson ’23

Portrait of Daryn Wilkerson in white blouse

Daryn Wilkerson is from Durham, North Carolina and attended Leesville Road High School. She has been awarded the Park Centennial Scholarship, and plans to major in Fashion and Textile Design with a concentration in Textile Design.“I’m pursuing my major because it’s a passion of mine to create clothing, and I’ve found ways to help my community and other communities around the world through design,” she said.

Through STEP, Wilkerson was able to learn more about the college.

“The Wilson College of Textiles provides a family atmosphere in a big university, and also leads in the textile industry in sustainability while maintaining art and creativity,” she said.

In high school, in addition to excelling at her studies, Wilkerson was drum major of the Leesville Road High School Band and volunteered at both Brides Against Breast Cancer and Little Dresses for Africa.

Receiving the Centennial Scholarship “means I’ll be given the resources to fully activate my potential at such a young age,” she said. She believes she is bringing to the Wilson College of Textiles “ a strong set of leadership skills for someone my age, and unique experiences from my previous leadership roles and volunteer work that can allow me to interact with people from different walks of life.”

After graduation, she hopes to work at a fashion house in the design capital of New York City, and one day start her own company.

“I hope to create my own fashion business that provides contemporary clothing that won’t harm the environment, help the people wearing it live their lives with more joy and confidence, and bring attention to important issues in the world,” she said.

See the complete list of 2023 Centennial Scholars

This article was originally published by the Wilson College of Textiles News.