IOScholarships and The Giving Closet surprised a STEM deserving student with celebrity wardrobe


A Closet Filled with Job Opportunities: STEM Student Gets $10,000 Designer Wardrobe

IOScholarships STEM student

In celebration of Women’s History Month, celebrity wardrobe stylist, Sam Russell and IOScholarships are supporting the next career journey of a very deserving STEM student. Alyssa Garbarino, a Latina first-generation student has been selected for a surprise wardrobe boost, valued at over $10,000. She is the 18th recipient of Sam Russell goodwill mission, The Giving Closet.

Alyssa was randomly selected through IOScholarships, the first of its kind scholarship and financial education platform for minority and underrepresented STEM students. She is studying biology at California State Channel Islands, where she leads the Neuroscience Society and wants to become a doctor despite her personal and financial struggles with the increasing costs of education.

Alyssa first heard about the platform through her best friend and said she’s been able to apply to scholarships she didn’t have access to previously. “I wasn’t able to see a lot of the private scholarships that I see now on IOScholarships,” said Garbarino, who works as a babysitter three days a week and conducts research for 10 hours each week as part of a research grant. “Now I see an opportunity for me there.” 

The more than 40 outfits were donated by name-brand designers through The Giving Closet. Russell founded the charity after working as a personal stylist to celebrities and seeing the amount of available clothing that could benefit those in need. 

Sam’s talented eye for imaging has been tapped by such recognizable personalities as Stevie Wonder, Jon Hamm, Chuck Lorre, Sophia Bush, Melora Hardin, Jeannie Mai and Donna Mills, as well as many business and social icons. But his greatest joy is in giving back through the Giving Closet. With IOScholarships he arranged the surprise event for Alyssa who is gifted with a new wardrobe that will open the door for new job opportunities.

“I don’t do this for my ego and never started it for fame. I simply connect with and understand the struggles of women who have persevered through extraordinary challenges in life. I call them survivors; my mother is one.” said Sam Russell, Founder of The Giving Closet.

There is not debate that when it comes to finding a job, appearance matters. If fact, applicants with a polished, professional appearance receive 20% higher starting salaries. Alyssa new amazing new wardrobe will give her the confidence to pursue career opportunities in her field.

“Sam is IOScholarships fashion godfather” said Maria Fernanda Trochimezuk, IOScholarships Founder. “He’s done so much for this deserving student and IOScholarships by donating his time and designer resources. He’s proving that fashion does have a heart”. 

 “I’m very thankful for IOScholarships and Sam Russell with The Giving Closet for preparing me this incredible wardrobe. With my goal of becoming a doctor to serve the community, I dedicate a lot of time to school and extracurricular activities, so I have not had the time or resources to make a wardrobe that will help me make a lasting impression in professional settings” said Alyssa Garbarino.

Among the generous designers donating items for Russell’s cause: Monica Leigh who designed a unique custom jacket for Alyssa, Z Supply Clothing, 4Funky Flavours form the United Kingdom, a luxurious necklace by Vilawain Fine Jewerly, and Jennifer Lopez’s favorite pajama brand- Single Dreamers.

If you need more information to help you win big scholarships read the following article.




Los Angeles, CA (May 3, 2022) – IOScholarships, a platform that provides access to scholarships worth almost $48 million for underrepresented students interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers is launching a new Superheroes podcast. The host of the series is María Trochimezuk, founder of IOScholarships, well known for her work as a spokesperson for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and her passion to increasing opportunities for diverse students in STEM.


In the podcast, María Fernanda interviews STEM students and experts to learn about more about their path to STEM, what kind of thinkers they are and the unique benefits of a multicultural approach to careers in STEM. Episodes are 10 minutes on average.


“We are thrilled to be launching the first IOScholarships Superheroes Podcast. Not only it is exciting to hear from the innovators of the future, it’s also inspiring to hear how they overcame obstacles and how their ethnic background is so unique for doing incredible things in the STEM field.” said María Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships.


IOScholarships blog provides comprehensive bilingual articles on financial wellness, career tips and some of the most important issues related to STEM. The platform features the scholarship of the month, internship, and job opportunities.


Some of the May featured scholarships and career opportunities include the Olay Face STEM Scholarship open to female sophomores of color, majoring in a STEM field and the Intel scholarship which helps STEM undergraduate and graduate students of color.

Data shows that roughly 20% of whites and students of color declare STEM subjects as their majors entering college, but nearly 40% of minority students change their majors and more than 20% left school without earning a degree.  As a result, while Blacks, Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Hispanics collectively form 27% of the population, but they account for only 11% of America’s science and engineering workers.

“This data is what fuels IOScholarships. It is imperative that we raise awareness of the benefits of STEM if we want to build a diverse STEM pipeline and robust pipeline,” said María Trochimezuk. “Diversity is good for growth — you can create products, apps, and technology from people with different perspectives so that the end product is better for everybody, it’s better for corporations and it’s better for consumers.”

The IOScholarships Superheroes podcast debuts today May 3rd, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. PT and can be found at To receive the newsletter/blog please email [email protected].





The majority of the scholarships featured on the IOScholarships website come directly from corporations and organizations, rather than solely from competitive national pools – thereby maximizing the number of opportunities students have to earn funding for their education. Each month IO Scholarships adds hundreds of new curated scholarships to its database and posts “The Scholarship of the Week” on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts (@IOScholarships), making it easy to find new scholarship opportunities.


In addition to providing scholarships, IOScholarships website offers a free scholarship organizer, news articles designed to provide guidance on how to apply for scholarships, and money saving tips. The platform also offers a Career Aptitude Quiz designed to help students identify the degrees and professions that best fit their skills.

A Closet Filled with Job Opportunities: STEM Student Gets $10,000 Designer Wardrobe