Christina Petillo, MHS Class of ’14
Pratt Institute, Class of 2018
Were you financially prepared for college?
I was not financially prepared for college.
When you applied to MSF, did you already know what college you were planning to attend? What was the name of the school?
I knew I was attending Pratt Institute when I applied for the MSF.
How does the MSF scholarship help you prepare for college?
It contributes to the incredibly large tuition bill I will be paying!
Why did you want a MSF scholarship?
If it weren’t for Montclair, I would not be working towards fulfilling my dreams! I knew I could count on Montclair to help me fund my next step.
Did you know anything about MSF before you applied for a scholarship?
Yes, I knew about the MSF through my mother, who has been teaching at Montclair High School for 20 years.
Did finances affect your choice of school or major?
I’d like to say finances did affect my choice, but I realized in the end that the price of building a career in New York City was well worth the truckloads of loans I will have with me.
If you could not have afforded college, what other options did you have?
Even though my family and I cannot afford college, my mother was adamant about me attending. She was the first in her family to attend college, and she cannot explain enough how important a college education is to one’s life, no matter the cost.
What is your major?
In addition to the MSF scholarship, what other types of financial aid or support did you use?
Pratt Institute has awarded me the Presidential Scholarship, but as of now, I have no other form of financial support, other than the loans I have taken out.
Once you complete your studies, what is your plan for the future?
My plan is to be an active member of the fashion industry, finding new ways to make a difference in it.
What would you say to current MHS seniors who seek financial aid?
Do your research! So many people I know cannot afford college simply because they did not look far enough into the scholarships that are out there. Ask questions to anyone, go online; it really makes a difference.
What do you remember best about being at Montclair High School/Montclair?
I remember not being looked down at for my love of art. Coming from two other school districts where artists are looked at as lazy or weird, I could not be happier to be in a community where my creativity was accepted.
Please describe any volunteer/community service during high school?
At my previous high school, I was required to complete 27 hours of various community service, such as soup kitchen work, running fundraisers for charities, etc. I also volunteer my fashion and sewing skills to various schools by creating and managing costumes for school performances.