My day with Anya



On Wednesday October 23, 2013 Anya Ayoung Chee- Project Runway winner, the former Miss Tobago winner, and now entrepreneur/designer came to GCC and had an event filled day. She gave amazing advice to our students, faculty and visitors.

Anya arrived at GCC at about 9 a.m. Project Manager Candace Cooper and Professor Dudkowski greeted Anya and her assistant at the clock tower. Candace Cooper and I put together a great breakfast spread for her to enjoy. Anya and her assistant went over her PowerPoint presentation and speech until about 11:00 when we escorted her to the administration luncheon. In attendance were Professor Dudkowski, Professor Ehrhart, Dr. Kate Schienfen, Jennifer Newell, Dr. Rafael Alicea-Maldonado(Dr.Ram), Candace Cooper and I. At the luncheon there was a large salad bar (One of Anya’s favorite foods!) with a lot of variety, toppings, and sides. During the luncheon Anya talked about the opportunities she has had growing up, and gave Candace a lot of great advice from one designer to the other.

After the luncheon at 1:30 Anya went to the Rosalie “Roz” Steiner art gallery where she was interviewed by Buffalo and Batavia news anchors about her current events, and upcoming projects. Anya also posed for a few photos after her meet with Dr. James Sunser, Genesee Community College president. She spoke about her website (  Anya sat in her dressing room while all the students and facility members took their seats. Candace went and got our celebrity key speaker. Anya’s presentation was extremely inspiring.


Me(Ariana Sneed), Professor Ehrhart, Candace Cooper, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Professor Dudkowski (In Order) posing for pictures in our Rosalie “Roz” Steiner art gallery.

Some of the great advice she gave was (Direct quotes from Anya):

  1. “Whether you believe it or not you have this life and just this life, and in these moments, I owe it to myself to live it all the way up.”
  2. “Something we all have to do different at some point but like trusting that you can do it, That you are gifted and that you are extremely talented.”
  3. “Risk being yourself fully.”
  4. “You know it in your heart you’ll feel it, just do it.”
  5. “Old friendships build complementary business”
  6. “(Mentors) you offer them something as well, you inspire them, you allow them to see their strengths and so I think a mentor is so key.”


I hope you all will take the inspiration Anya is planted in me, and do whatever makes you happy. “You know it in your heart you’ll feel it, just do it.” Even if you’re not in the fashion program I hope you were able to catch Anya Ayoung-Chee’s incredible speech in T102. Anya’s a beautiful person inside and out.

“(Blogging) is a deeper way into a person’s life.” -Anya Ayoung-Chee


Anya and I in her fitting room here at GCC.


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