Vans has chosen a 17-year-old singer-songwriter as the recipient of its first educational scholarship.
Partnering with the Berklee College of Music, the footwear brand presented the “Off the Wall” award, which covers four years of tuition plus room and board at the school, to Miette Hope Goldman of Colorado Springs, Colo.
“[Vans]’ history has been built alongside athletes, artists, designers and musicians,” said Kevin Bailey, president of VF Action Sports and Vans. “The scholarship creates a platform to celebrate the freedom and individuality that comes from creative expression, and we are proud to partner with a college that supports and nurtures those same values.”
To congratulate the singer, representatives from Vans and Berklee, along with Passion Pit member and Berklee alumnus Jeff Apruzzese, surprised the teen with a Vans wardrobe and guitar while she was giving a performance in her hometown in mid-June. She will also receive dorm supplies and a laptop from the brand, as well as the opportunity to perform at the House of Vans.
Scholarship applicants were asked to complete a live audition and interview at Berklee to demonstrate their creative expression through music, Bailey said.
Goldman, who performs as a solo artist and uses a loop pedal to record her vocals, guitar and beatboxing, also plays ukelele and writes for a local folk band, making her the type of student Berklee aims to attract, said Tod Oliviere, director of scholarships.
“Based on her financial need, she might not have made it to Berklee without the support of the Vans scholarship,” he told Footwear News.
Goldman plans to study music therapy at Berklee this fall.