Dutchess BOCES is giving students like Jaden Peguero the opportunity to study fashion design and merchandising before continuing their studies in college. The Career & Technical Institute at Dutchess BOCES started offering a two-year Fashion Design & Merchandising program to high school students in the 2022-2023 school year.
“I’ve always had an eye for fashion and I was always interested,” said Peguero, a John Jay High School senior who plans to study fashion at SUNY Oneonta and in the school’s abroad fashion program.
“I knew I wanted to be involved in the industry. So knowing that I could have that experience while still being in high school, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The second I heard they finally introduced it, I ran and took that opportunity as fast as I could.”
Students are using recycled clothing donated to the program and are using their creative skills to design garments.
Sebastian Yeung is the program’s instructor. Since starting his teaching career in 1995, he’s taught in New York City, San Francisco and Hawaii. Yeung is hopeful his fashion and merchandising students will work with students in the cosmetology to have a fashion show in the 2023-2024 school year.
“My goal is to see them enjoy being creative and successful,” said Yeung. “You can be creative, and not successful. I want them to have both. I want them to make their dream come true. I want them to show their talent by making their garment.”
Carlos Felix, a junior at Spackenkill High School, plans to return to CTI in 2023-2024 for the second year of the program. He said his classmates and teacher have become like family. He hopes to one-day work in the fashion industry.
“I’m a fashion illustrator,” he said. “I wanted to take my ideas to real life and make real outfits and clothes.
“I’ve learned there are a lot of different aspects to it, not just designing, selling and stuff. There is a lot of marketing and technical things that go into it as well.”
published February 10, 2023