Jolea Jacob is working to improve the world one design at a time, though her fashion line and college experience at Texas Tech
Jolea Jacob is an Apparel Design and Manufacturing (ADM) major in the Department of Design at Texas Tech. She just recently won the Eighth Annual Miss Black TTU Scholarship Pageant. Each participant has to meet the basic requirements along with the Texas Tech official homecoming royal court rules, and becoming an active member of the Black Student Association.
“Years ago, women of color were not allowed to serve on the homecoming court at Texas Tech University,” Jacob said. “So they created their own annual pageant to uplift the women on campus that embodied the meaning behind ineffable melanin and have a passion for working towards the advancement of their community.”
The pageant is a two-month long process comprised of pageant practices that focus on the opening dance number, talents, poise, career & slow walks, posture, and vocal expression/ interview speech training. Additionally, there is a community service project component that bonds the nominees with their community and establishes a connection between the contestants.
“Over the years the pageant was discontinued, but this fall marked the 8th annual return of the pageant as a reminder of our history and traditions,” Jacob said. “Miss Black TTU will have an academic year-long reign, is visible at community events for the Black student body, and will represent the Black community within the TTU homecoming royal court during the upcoming fall semester”
Jacob always had an interest in pageants and was inspired by the meaning behind the position and being a part of the Miss Black TTU Scholarship Pageant would offer her immeasurable experience.
“I am advocating for a community that's oftentimes overshadowed or ignored,” Jacob said. “I am their voice on this large campus and my goal is to make sure they feel valued and welcomed. To make sure they have access to the same opportunity as their counterparts and that they have all the means to be successful.”
The Miss Black TTU scholarship pageant has allowed Jacob to find lifelong friends, growth in various aspects, and the experience of working with other amazing young women. Being named Miss Black TTU gives Jacob the opportunity to give back and uplift her Texas Tech family.
“I felt and still feel incredibly blessed,” Jacob said. “I thank God for this blessing every day. When my name was announced, I froze for a second because it didn't feel real. It still feels unreal. There are no words to truly express how much this role means to me.”
The Texas Tech Apparel Design and Manufacturing program has provided Jacob the opportunity to gain insight not only with her own fashion work but also working in the industry as a whole. The ADM faculty continue to support each student in their endeavors. The Apparel Design and Manufacturing courses equip Jacob to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer.
“I learned how to sew at the age of eight,” Jacob said. “My grandmother taught me, as she was once a seamstress. That initial lesson sparked an interest in fashion design. I started building on my construction skills, sketching designs for my dolls, and playing fashion designer games. Twelve years later, that love for the craft never left my heart; it has only got stronger.”
After graduation, Jacob hopes to work in the fashion industry and get her Master in Fine Arts (MFA) to eventually become a professor. Her ultimate goal is to have her very own evening wear brand, where she can specialize in making custom pieces that her clients feel beautiful and empowered.
“I seek to eliminate the lack of representation of minority women within the fashion industry while tirelessly working to remove the stigmas placed against them and their beauty,” Jacob said. “It's a daunting task but I'm willing to put in the work. I plan to spend my life working to make representation for marginal groups a norm within the field. One design at a time.”