Lyric Akis has a passion for fashion. She’s in her junior year at Ruskin High School. A model already, the 17-year-old already has her eyes on big plans in the fashion industry. She hopes to visit and then attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City after she graduates.
What is your dream career?
I want to become a model. That’s what my mind is currently set on. When I become successful at modeling, I want to run my own agency. I want to go to college for business, because you have to know a lot about business to make it in the fashion world. After I run my own modeling agency, I want to go to cosmetology school and hopefully open my own salon. So, I have a lot I want to do!
You have so many dreams! What inspired you?
I’m already modeling now but it’s not as big as I want it to be. My goal is to get in a position where I’m modeling in a bigger setting like New York.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
I’m still trying to figure out myself. I used to think, “I want to model because it’s easy for me, since I’m tall and I can get money that way.” But now it’s changed and I actually truly enjoy taking pictures. I’ve become very comfortable with it. I’m very insecure in a way, and I feel like when I go to New York for modeling and fashion, the audience will be bigger. I’ll be nervous. It might be hard to stay centered but I’m ready.
How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals when facing these challenges?
What motivates me? I don’t really know. I’ve had people tell me, “You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone,” so I try to just do things and not think about it. It helps me to focus on getting out of my comfort zone.
Why is college important to you?
I want to go to college to become the person I’m meant to be. I’ve heard college is one of the best times of your life, so I really want that experience. I want to have fun! I don’t want to look back when I’m older and have missed that.
How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?
A lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to visit colleges, especially good colleges. I feel like my family is normally cursed and nothing good happens, so when I got picked as one of the five #GirlsOnTheRise, I knew I had to do this. Going to New York to check out colleges is important because I want to know what the city feels like [before going to school there].
What schools will you use the funding to visit?
I want to do modeling, business and cosmetology and it’s hard to find a school that has all of those [subjects]. But I did find one: the Fashion Institution of Technology.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself?
That’s a hard question! I would say “Just do it.” You just have to try, at least.
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Interview conducted by Bronwyn Isaac, 1,000 Dreams Fund contributor