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WithIt Names 2008-2009 Scholarship Winners at Vegas Event

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Women in the Home Furnishings Industry Today (WithIt) named Catherine Claire Keane and Shannon Rae Peterson as this year’s education scholarship recipients at the organization’s panel-led event in Las Vegas.. The event additionally kicked off a new “R U WithIt?” membership drive campaign. For the 2008-2009 school year, Keane, a Meredith College student in Raleigh, NC and Peterson, a rising junior at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, received WithIt scholarship funds totaling $5,000 toward tuition and expenses. The two will receive their benefits during WithIt’s annual WOW Awards and dinner event scheduled for August 13th at the Renaissance hotel in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte, North Carolina native Catherine Claire Keane is an Interior Design major at Meredith College, where she has developed both independence and a sense of personal style. She says her passion for design emerged at a young age, and recalls being constantly aware of the spaces she encountered. Creating spaces with minimal impact on the environmental is now a career goal. After completing a master’s degree in interior design, Keane thinks she would like to start her own business focused on creating healthy, contemporary work spaces. Keane serves as a student advisor at her school. She was the opening speaker for Meredith College Scholarship weekend in 2007 and is a writing and grammar tutor. She received the Kappa Nu Sigma scholarship award for top grade point average in 2006 and 2007. For the last four years, she has spent part of her summer as a resident camp counselor for YMCA Camp Thunderbird. Shannon Rae Peterson is a rising junior at Appalachian State University in the interior design program. She enjoys the challenges posed by interior design, approaches every studio project with enthusiasm and describes herself as a “problem-solver.” With several family members in the home furnishings industry, Peterson grew up with an interest in furniture and interior design. She says she would additionally contemplate a second degree in architecture. Chris Steinhafel, Peterson’s cousin who is a 27-year veteran of the wholesale, retail, design and manufacturing sides of the residential furniture industry, admires her for three qualities she possesses that he says are hard to find in young employees today: focus, drive and the ability to follow through. Peterson is a student member of the American Society of Interior Designers and an active member of the ASU Interior Design Society. She participated in WithIt’s Mentoring Day at the fall 2007 High Point Market. She presently works at the University Library while handling a full load of classes and has worked summer jobs at the Tile Collection in Charlotte and at Restoration Hardware. WithIt, the leading industry organization dedicated to the support and development of professional women, raises funds through its scholarship foundation established in 1997. Judging for the annual reward takes place each spring and is based on students’ academic performance, as reflected in grade point average, SAT/ACT scores and students’ choice of curriculum. Subjective judging criteria include essays, references and a statement of personal goals. In 2007, the Foundation kicked off its campaign to raise $100,000 by 2009 in order to provide more scholarships for qualified candidates. Individuals and companies in the home furnishings industries are encouraged to make tax-deductible donations and gifts to the 501C 3 designated not for profit. For additional information, please visit www.withit.org, or contact Sara Lyke, executive director, at 336-880-2188, or withitexecdir@triad.rr.com.

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