Vans Welcomes 2015 Recipient of the Off the Wall Berklee Scholarship
Vans, the original action sports footwear and apparel brand, is offering its second scholarship with Berklee. The Vans Berklee Off the Wall Scholarship is a four-year award covering tuition, room and board for a talented, young musician. Vans has named Leila Goodrum, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Brookfield, Wisconsin, as the 2015 recipient of this award.
Vans is a brand rich in music history with deep roots in movements ranging from punk and metal to indie rock and hip-hop. Since 1966, Vans has remained committed to supporting the communities, environments, and creative platforms of action sports, art, youth development, and music through a variety of initiatives, including the Vans Custom Culture art competition and the brand’s cultural hub, House of Vans. Vans strives to empower creative expression by giving back to the communities that have defined its history for almost 50 years. With this ongoing Berklee scholarship, Vans further expands its music outreach into education.
The scholarship has been life-changing for both recipients. “Vans is so proud to once again celebrate the Off the Wall Scholarship and partner with Berklee, an institution that for 70 years has the same dedication to inspiring creative expression among youth,” said Kevin Bailey, president of VF Action Sports and Vans. “Miette Hope is a beautiful example of the raw talent that can continue to flourish from these types of initiatives, and we are so excited to support Leila on this truly Off the Wall journey.”
Leila Goodrum has been composing, performing, and recording her own songs since she realized she had a passion for songwriting. “I’ve never done anything in my life that I love more,” said Goodrum. She performs at local venues, records in a home studio, and self-produced an album of original songs titled Magic. During high school, Goodrum studied vocal and piano performance, participated in extracurricular choir, and was a musical theater devotee.
At Berklee, Goodrum is studying songwriting and vocal performance. “I didn’t honestly expect to be able to attend Berklee for financial reasons, but I applied anyway because it is my dream school and even just to be accepted would have been amazing,” said Goodrum. “This scholarship is making a pretty big difference in my life. I'm looking forward to learning and developing my musicianship at Berklee.”
Jeffrey Dorenfeld, professor of music business/management, expressed his appreciation for the Vans scholarship. “I’m honored to have worked with Vans to develop this scholarship. When an adolescent laces up their first pair of Vans, it’s a rite of passage to becoming a teenager. Now, Vans is helping these teenagers meet their dream of graduating from Berklee,” he said. “It was an incredibly rewarding experience meeting the recipients. Knowing that Miette Hope had a great first year, and seeing how fast Leila Goodrum has acclimated, is validation that this scholarship truly changes lives. I look forward to watching Miette and Leila grow and succeed at Berklee—something that couldn’t have happened without Vans’s belief in the value of music education.”
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