Toledo School for the Arts Student to Appear on New Project Runway Show – Premiere Airs 11/12/2015, Downtown Viewing Party Celebrates Maya Ramirez

Posted Nov 12th, 2015 by Lindsay Williams  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Community Interest, Other


“I’m 13. I’m the youngest one here.” In a mere seconds-long sneak peek recently revealed by Lifetime on Twitter, the students who have shared classrooms with Maya Ramirez for years at Toledo School for the Arts learned that their freshman peer would soon have her fashions gracing NYC runways rather than TSA hallways.

Ramirez, now 14, spent her summer earning a spot on Lifetime’s new show, Project Runway Junior. The young fashionista feels very at home in TSA’s costuming classes, and her teacher Angie Patchett is not surprised Maya was chosen for this opportunity. “Maya has been my student since August of 2013, but she has been sewing and designing long before that. She has an incredible eye for fashion and is always coming up with new ideas just for fun. I have really enjoyed watching her grow and seeing her aesthetic mature. She is a fantastic student but I do find myself being hard on her at times because I know what she is capable of. For one of her first projects in my class, I made her take the zipper out several times before she got it right because I knew she could.”

Project Runway Junior features designers ranging ages 13 to 17 mentored by Emmy Award winner and viewer favorite Tim Gunn. Alongside Gunn this inaugural season will be judges Kelly Osbourne, supermodel Hannah Davis, designer Christian Siriano and executive fashion editor at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazine Aya Kanai. Actress Bella Thorne joins panel as guest judge for the final challenge.

Project Runway Junior premieres tonight- Thursday, November 12, at 9pm- and the community is invited by the Ramirez family and the school to celebrate with a viewing party at downtown Toledo’s Pizza Papalis. The restaurant is keeping their doors open just for TSA, and will serve a pizza and salad buffet for $9.99 per person. Project Runway Junior will be broadcast on every TV screen in the establishment, and Pizza Papalis has generously offered to donate 15% of all sales from 8:30pm on into the evening to Toledo School for the Arts.

The full roster of Project Runway Junior designers includes Maya of Maumee and another Ohioan in Victoria, 17, of Westlake (near Cleveland). A number of the young designers hail from across California, with other contenders coming in from Massachusetts, New York, Kansas and Kentucky to round out a dozen contestants. The December 10th episode will feature a special video appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama to announce a challenge with Lands’ End that will support Let Girls Learn, a new whole of government Presidential Initiative, which includes a collaboration with the Peace Corps that helps adolescent girls around the world go to school and stay in school. The Project Runway Junior designers will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a design that will be used and sold on

The winner of Project Runway Junior will receive a full scholarship to the prestigious FIDM in California, a complete Brother home sewing and crafting studio, a Seventeen Magazine feature and a $25,000 cash
prize to help launch their line.

The Ramirez family, led by parents Traci and Lou Ramirez, are proud that Maya’s skill can be attributed to nothing more than her own “really hard work, trial and error,” explained Traci. Lou, who believes in TSA so much he became a member of the Board of Directors added, “TSA has had a big impact on Maya. She really looks up to Mrs. Patchett. Maya has always been one to take a chance but TSA has helped nurture that confidence and given her more courage to just put herself out there.”

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