Harrisburg, PA, June 24, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- To be 13 years old and have your college tuition already in the bank is nothing short of miraculous. But that is where Kaitlyn Hillenbrand, an 8th grader at St. Catherine Laboure School, finds herself, thanks to Barbizon Modeling and Acting.
Kaitlyn won Barbizon’s $100,000 scholarship, given by the company every two years via a random drawing that’s open to all students ages 13-18. Her mom, Donna, found out she won back in February when Barbizon contacted her. But it wasn’t until she received the details in writing that it finally sank in.
“For her, it’s just unbelievable,” Donna said. “It also means a big deal for our son (11-year-old Ethan) – (it) means there would be more money to put into (his education) as well.”
The scholarship will be awarded at Barbizon, 415 Bosler Ave., Lemoyne, at 7 p.m. on Wed., July 12. State Senator Mike Reagan will be on hand to help present the award.
The Barbizon Scholarship contest has awarded over $1 Million in college scholarships since it’s inception over ten years ago.
“We began the scholarship program really organically,” said Jonathan Roth, Barbizon Harrisburg Owner. “We just wanted to be able to support our students higher education efforts. I don’t think we had any idea we would be making such an impact. We have had Barbizon scholarship recipients graduate from some of the country’s top universities. And now to have the support with Senator Mike Reagan presenting the award is really amazing.”
Kaitlyn is interested in attending Penn State University or the University of Pittsburgh, because they are “close to home,” or the University of Kentucky, because she’d like to try out for their women’s basketball team. She’d like to major in either architecture or interior design – like many people, she is hooked on the wildly popular home improvement shows.
“Over the past summer, I started watching them and I was really interested in them, so I thought it would be cool to design a house or design buildings and do interior design for them too,” she said.
Kaitlyn graduated from Barbizon, based locally in Lemoyne, Cumberland County, in May, 2016; she was discovered at the Pennsylvania Farm Show earlier that year. Since then, she attended an annual modeling and acting showcase in Washington, D.C. (in June), and Barbizon’s Passport to Discovery cruise (in October). As a result of those showcases, she signed contracts with Exxcel Modeling and Manikin Modeling; in August, she will attend an acting class given by Exxcel in Los Angeles.
Kaitlyn said she attended Barbizon to improve her self-confidence.
“I’m shy and I tried to hide behind my mom or my dad or my friends when I tried to talk to some people,” she said. “I didn’t feel comfortable in front of other people, so I tried working on that. It (Barbizon) helped a lot. I tried out for our school student body president, and I didn’t make it, but I am still on the student council,” she said.
In her spare time, Kaitlyn plays varsity basketball and soccer and is involved in track and field. She plays in the school band and the chimes ensemble, participates in the school musical, and is a member of the Girl Scouts. She has auditioned for Capitol Area School for the Arts in Harrisburg and was accepted.
Barbizon the company has been in business for 77 years. The agency has over 250 markets worldwide and offers training in modeling, acting, and personal development. Well-known Barbizon alumni include Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, actor Ryan Phillippe, “Hannah Montana” co-star Moises Arias, E! Entertainment host Giuliana Rancic, “American Idol” finalist David Archuleta, and actress Carmen Electra, among others.