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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Dream BIG Class of 2014

Addie Romanowski

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Addie Romanowski

Addie Romanowski, sales representative at HSN, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in information technology from University of Phoenix.

Inspired by three teenage daughters to become a technology guru

Like many American moms, Addie Romanowski sees firsthand every day how mobile and digital technologies have become woven into every facet of young people’s lives. And while many parents find their teens’ digital dependence frustrating or even a bit intimidating, Addie found it to be an inspiration.

“As the years pass by, I have watched my three teenage daughters demonstrate their strong technological skills,” Addie says. “It made me realize that in order to remain competitive, furthering my own education is paramount.”

I understand what it takes to provide customers with fun, memorable shopping experiences. I can also communicate what a poor shopping experience looks and feels like.
Addie Romanowski

This determination to keep her career skills sharp is what is driving Addie to pursue a bachelor’s degree in information technology at University of Phoenix through the Dream BIG program. Currently working from home as a sales representative for HSN, the nation’s leading home shopping television network and website, Addie hopes to use her degree to move from a customer-facing role to a behind-the-scenes position molding the company’s online experience.

“I understand what it takes to provide customers with fun, memorable shopping experiences. I can also communicate what a poor shopping experience looks and feels like,” she says. Addie believes her countless direct interactions with HSN customers, coupled with her forthcoming IT degree, will enable her to “improve the future of online shopping through the use of technology and software applications.”

Addie’s daughters continue to motivate her in ways far beyond their impressive grasp of technology. Following a car accident that injured every member of her family, Addie now draws courage from the fight her children show as they deal with daily rehabilitation. Her daughter Zoe, who suffered the most serious injuries, provides particular inspiration as she strives to slowly regain her independence. “Zoe’s resiliency and inner strength are what I admire most about her,” Addie says. “She helped me realize that I too can focus my energy on personal rehabilitation.”


The National Retail Federation collaborates with University of Phoenix to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship to people who work in retail. This year, 20 recipients received full-tuition scholarships to help them pursue their big dreams. Meet the Class of 2014 and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.