TAM student selected as finalist for prestigious National Retail Federation Foundation Next Generation Scholarship
Chels Fabian
Textile and Apparel Management

Cali Burns, a Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) student, is the first from MU to be selected among the top five finalists for the NRF Foundation’s Next Generation Scholarship and received a $10,000 award. This prestigious scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership skills, previous retail experience, and a passion for making an impact in the retail industry.  

Burns, who works as an assistant buyer for The Mizzou Store, says, “Working in retail gives you the opportunity to be both creative and analytical, and I think you need a blend of both sides in order to be successful.”  

The NRF scholarship competition involved a summer case study in collaboration with Macy’s, two interviews with retailers, and interviews with NRF staff. Between the TAM program and her job with The Mizzou Store, the hands-on experience Burns has gained in the retail industry helped solidify her place as a finalist. 

Of the finalists, NRF Foundation’s Executive Director Adam Lukoskie says, “These young individuals have shown true passion, tenacity, and creative vision throughout the competition.” 

“I’m very thankful for all of the great experiences and the joy that the NRF Foundation has brought into my life,” says Burns. “This is such a unique opportunity and there’s really nothing else like it.” 

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association. It represents businesses and individuals such as department stores, catalog, Internet, and independent retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, multi-level marketing companies and vendors.