SSU Student Wins Sam’s Club Proud By Design Contest

Last Updated on May 31, 2023

SSU student Nigel Smith

For Black History Month, Sam's Club recently held the “Proud by Design” contest. Savannah State University (SSU) junior from Akron, Ohio, Nigel Smith was selected as the winner. His t-shirt designs, which were available for purchase online and in-store, are now completely sold out. 

Designed to highlight talented HBCU students, the Proud by Design contest required contestants to design an original t-shirt in honor of Black History Month.

“I wanted to represent what blackness means to me. For me, it’s my grandparents and my community. So, I used my Nana's silhouette and old pictures of my hairstyles in the design. Black History Month is all about role models. Even if you don’t have any, you can always find inspiration in Black history. If you follow what inspires you, you create something meaningful for others.”

Nigel Smith, Computer Science Major

In addition to having his unique design sold in Sam's Club stores, Smith won a $5,000 scholarship, experienced an exclusive two-month Merchandising Externship, and an opportunity to interview for internships or full-time roles with Sam's Club.

To Smith, the Proud by Design contest was in perfect alignment with his skills acquired from being a Computer Science major.

“I was actually able to do everything regarding the design using the free Adobe suite software provided to all [Savannah State] students.

Nigel Smith, Computer Science Major

With a passion for digital design, more specifically, vector design, Smith has entered multiple competitions but says this is the biggest one yet. The most shocking part of learning that he won the Proud by Design contest was that his designs would be in every Sam's Club store nationwide.

Smith is currently the president of the Savannah State Model African Union student organization and a part-time cybersecurity employee for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system. 

Smith plans to focus his talents on designing and developing business-savvy smartwatches as his next big project. 

Sams Club stores

Source: Savannah State University News

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