Next Model’s Lucky Blue Smith, the male model of the moment, and Fashion Blogger Kristina Bazan served as Get Schooled’s Celebrity Principals last week at the High School for Fashion Industries in New York City.

Kristina Bazan and Lucky Blue Smith

In front of a student audience of 1,700 students, Lucky and Kristina recognized the students’ commitment to their education and offered additional encouragement and inside tips about the entertainment fashion industries. The high school is one of nearly 60 high schools across New York City participating in the Capital One Bank NYC College Challenge aimed at boosting college going rates.

According to the New York City Department of Education, for the Class of 2013, 51 percent of students in the ninth grade cohort enrolled in college the first fall after graduation. At the same time, the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce predicts that more than two-thirds of newly created jobs over the next decade will require some postsecondary education, whether a technical certificate or two-year or four-year degree.

The Capital One Bank NYC College Challenge is a friendly competition that includes 60 high schools serving close to 40,000 students across New York City. It has been designed to encourage high school students to explore college opportunities, apply to college and access financial aid for college. This fall, students with the highest level of engagement and the highest percentage of seniors applying to college earned a celebrity principal for the day. At the High School for Fashion Industries, almost every senior applied to college and the average senior applied to as many as five colleges.

The celebrity principals offered the students motivation and advice:

“To reach your goals, sometimes you have to take risks,” model Lucky Blue Smith told the crowd. “It may mean you have to leave your comfort zone, but it’s also what will get you to the next level.”

Kristina Bazan, who manages the popular fashion blog Kayture, advised the thousands of students to stay true to themselves. “Maintaining your integrity is critical in the fashion world,” said Kristina, “Be willing to say no to opportunities if it doesn’t fit with who you are.”

The Capital One Bank NYC College Challenge is designed and managed by Get Schooled, a national non-profit organization based in New York. Partners in the Challenge include Capital One Bank, Viacom, the New York City Department of Education, The New School, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, and Make the Road New York.

To learn more about Get Schooled and see the challenge leaderboard, click here.

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