In the Career Services department at Community Care College, Oklahoma Technical College and Clary Sage College, we have hundreds – or thousands – of success stories highlighting our graduates and their successes. These stories not only inspire us – they inspire everyone. They are the perfect reminder of why we do what we do.

In light of Clary Sage College’s upcoming Fashion Show, Clary Runway, I wanted to share the inspiring success story of Luciana Dreher.

Luciana is from Brazil. Luciana came to the United States in high school with a foreign exchange student program and lived with a host family in Oklahoma City, OK. She fell in love with America and knew that she wanted to figure out some way to come back after high school.

Luciana has always had a passion for clothes and knew she wanted to be a designer at a young age. She would design clothes for her dolls out of old clothes and material her mom had around the house. When she was a young teenager, she found a local store in her town that did some alterations and begged the owner to teach her how to sew.

Luciana’s dad ran his own business and assumed she would stay in Brazil and work for the family business, but Luciana knew she had to follow her dreams and her passion to continue her education and become a Fashion Designer, making her way back to the U.S. to live the American Dream!

Once back in the U.S. staying with her host family in OKC with her husband and 4-year-old son, she started to do research on Fashion Design Schools and stumbled upon Clary Sage College.

Luciana immediately fell in love with the school and knew it was the right fit. In the beginning of her program, she would drive every day from OKC – she was never late for class and never missed a class.

The drive started to get tough on her and her family, so they decided to move to Tulsa. Money was becoming very tight since they were here on her Education Visa and her husband was unable to work. Her husband had a good job back in Brazil and started to get depressed and bored, but nothing ever stood in Luciana’s way; she always kept going and was willing to fight for the American Dream! Her dedication was contagious. She would be early for class and always stayed late to work on projects – some class-related and some because she just wanted to push herself and grow as a designer.

Luciana went on to win at the Fashion Group International Dallas Career Day Design Competition and won a scholarship! She completed her externship with Game Day Couture. They begged her to stay, even after she had completed her hours. They were unable to pay her due to the restriction of her Visa, but Luciana stayed and worked for free because she knew it would only help her goals become reality!


I knew that Luciana wanted to stay in the U.S. and I knew that she wanted to continue her education as well. She really wanted to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design. She decided that Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles was the best fit. FIDM is not an easy school to be accepted to – you have submit an extensive portfolio, several reference letters, and a formal interview with a panel. FIDM was so impressed with her portfolio and her skill level at this point that they immediately accepted her! Luciana received a new Visa and is now able to attend school and work.

This just goes to show that if you put your mind to something, you can do it!