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September 28, 2021 Achiever Stories

Achievement Story: Alex, Senior, North High School

Alex Kleinschmit NHS3
Alex, a senior at North High School, used skills she learned through the Sioux City Career Academy to design the homecoming dress of her dreams. Classes such as Sewing Basics, Design Studio, and Applied Sewing have inspired Alex to create one-of-a-kind fashion.

Sioux City, Iowa – The desire to wear the homecoming dress of her dreams taught Alex a lesson in the labor of love.

“I kept looking online for a dress that I loved for homecoming, but I couldn’t find one in my size that was cute. I’ve always struggled to find clothing that fits my confidence level as a plus-sized young woman,” says Alex, a senior at Sioux City Community School District’s North High School.

The journey to find her dream dress sparked Alex’s creativity. She found a dress online with a bodice shape for inspiration and created her own pattern. In early September, she started sewing, embroidering, and then sewing some more. Relying on self-taught skills and multiple classes that she has taken through the Sioux City Career Academy including Sewing Basics, Design Studio, Applied Sewing, and Fashion Analysis, Alex was undaunted by the task – or the quickly approaching homecoming dance deadline.

Approximately 30 hours later, Alex’s vision for her dress was complete.

“I first became interested in embroidery in middle school. I would visit craft fairs and see tea towels with the cutest embroidery designs,” recalls Alex. “I was feeling inspired one weekend and went to a thrift store where I found an old man’s jean jacket. I spent close to 36 hours hand embroidering that first piece.”

An artist at heart, Alex’s fondest memories in school include those times when she could be creative. From the fourth-grade history project to her first dress in Applied Sewing made out of bib overalls, Alex says she is grateful for the opportunities she’s had in school to flex her creative muscle.

Outside of her classes, Alex stays busy, playing everything from softball to volleyball, participating in theater and cheerleading, and through her volunteer work with the Sioux City Mayor’s Youth Commission as the Administrative Services Director of the commission’s executive council.

After graduation from North High School in May 2022, Alex is looking forward to attending the University of South Dakota to major in advertising. Until then, she wants to enjoy every moment of her last year in high school.

“One piece of advice I’d give to other students is not to be afraid to explore the different pathway opportunities the District offers and to make mistakes along the way,” says Alex confidently. “Now is the best time to make mistakes and learn about yourself.”