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Ti-Alliance Scholarship Recipient Accepted to Fashion Institute of Technology

May 3, 2024 Ticonderoga, NY — Two years ago, Ti-Alliance Scholarship recipient Michael O’Donnell walked through SUNY Adirondack’s doors as a college freshman. Despite being an art major, Michael had never actually been to a major art museum. “It was at our Ti-Alliance annual meeting that we found out about this. Michael was there as one of our college scholarship recipients. One of our donors was speaking to him about his plan when she found out that he had never been to a real art museum. She came to me and said ‘we have to fix this!’ We did a quick funding campaign and created a trip to Manhattan for Michael. I have a deep background in art and art history so I was the tour guide. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MOMA, and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT),” said Donna Wotton, Executive Director of Ti-Alliance.

It was a weekend of “firsts” for Michael – his first time on a train, first visit to a major city, first time staying in a hotel, first ride on a subway, first Broadway show, and first time to major art museums. On the way home from New York Michael commented that the trip had been transformative. “This was genuinely the most fun I’ve ever had. It was epic and life-changing for me. Someday I’m going to go to FIT!”.

Two weeks ago, almost exactly two years after his trip, Michael texted Donna a photo of his acceptance letter to FIT’s highly competitive Photography and Media program for the fall semester. It was a true full circle moment.

Michael graduated in the Ticonderoga High School Class of 2021 and was awarded a two year scholarship from Ti-Alliance. This month he will graduate from SUNY Adirondack with an Associates Degree in Art. Two of Michael’s original works are proudly displayed at the Ti-Alliance Ti-Works Coworking Space in downtown Ticonderoga. They are a reminder of why everyone at Ti-Alliance loves doing this work and the power we have as a community. When we work together, we can enact incredible positive change. 

The goal of Ti-Alliance Skilled Career Scholarships is to encourage students in our community to pursue careers in skilled trades, remove the barriers to the education needed for these careers, ensure student success, and hopefully have these students live and practice their skills in our community. The Ti-Alliance scholarships can cover the costs of tuition and non-tuition costs such as room and board, transportation, books/tools/supplies, certification or other exam fees, and child care costs. Each scholarship represents a commitment to the student for up to two academic years or the length of their program.


These life-changing scholarships are funded by the Ti-Alliance, the Tony J. and Jean H. DiFebbo Educational Foundation, the George C. Singer Scholarship Endowment Fund, and generous donors to the scholarship fund. To contribute, visit the Ti-Alliance website and click on a DONATE button; you can designate your donation to the scholarship fund or George C. Singer Scholarship Endowment Fund in the drop-down menu. OR send your donation to Ti-Alliance, P.O. Box 247, Ticonderoga, NY 12883, and note “Scholarships” or “Scholarship Endowment Fund” in the memo area.

More information on how you can help make dreams come true for our students visit

Contact: Donna Wotton, Executive Director of Ti-Alliance

Phone: 415-385-4544


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