The hundreds of hours Ronnita Whipple spent making a prom dress and tuxedo from duct tape paid off in a big way.
She finished second in a national contest after weeks of online voting.
The 19-year-old, who graduated from Central High School in May, won $5,000 in scholarship money.
She said she received a congratulatory call about an hour before the winners were posted online Wednesday.
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“I was really hoping to win first place,” Whipple said.
Whipple said she is still trying to raise money to study in Atlanta at the Savannah College of Art and Design, but if she can’t come up with the money she needs by school time in August, she plans to study in Americus at Georgia Southwestern State University. She said she’ll spend the money on textbooks and other such expenses.
The male model she fashioned a tuxedo for, rising Central senior Joe Kovac III, also won $5,000.
Central High School was awarded $3,000. Emanuel Frazier, the school’s new principal, already has an idea how to use the money.
“Those students are products of Central’s great fine arts department,” Frazier said. “So I’m sure that once we sit down and have a discussion, that money will likely go back into fine arts to help us fund more projects for our fine arts students.”
Whipple spent more than 400 hours creating the dress and tuxedo from 90 rolls of duct tape as part of the 2014 Duck brand Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest.