The Villagers recently awarded $35,000 for college scholarships to deserving students with an interest in architectural historic preservation and restoration.
Twelve students were selected from the field of applicants based on scholastic standing, recommendations, samples of their work and their statement of interest in preserving architectural past.
Recipients from the University of Miami (UM) are senior Sydney Matsumoto and previous recipients, juniors Shannar O’Connor and David Holmes. All three are in the five-year School of Architecture program.
Matsumoto will apply her scholarship to her continued studies in graduate school at UM and said her interest is “in creating spaces that coexist harmoniously with nature through the application of sustainability and historic preservation.”
Florida International University (FIU) recipients include graduate student Robert Colón, a junior seeking a Master of Landscape Architecture, and Kaitlyn Fuson a senior in the Master of Architecture program and second-time recipient.
FIU’s Colón explained to the group that his landscape design degree encompasses urban design and entails the “entire experience walking out the front door.” He went on to say “when developers tear down an area, they are missing out on the character of the whole city. Historic preservation in urban settings is often cheaper and provides many economical options.”
Mayrelis Perez, from the University of Florida, is working towards a Master of Historic Preservation. In her application essay she wrote about growing up in Cuba “surrounded by Ruins” and said she chose the field of preservation architecture “to save, rehabilitate and hold onto places.”
A portion of the scholarship funds are designated for deserving students graduating from DASH, Miami-Dade County’s magnet school for architecture and design. The winners of the award are able to designate the scholarship to the university of their choice. Graduating seniors selected were Yunru (Daisy) Chen, Miami; Adam Samson Margolis, Surfside; Frederick (Didi) Rapp, Key Biscayne; Dani Simons, Miami; Carolina Zuniga, Doral; and Ruth Suarez, Pembroke Pines.
Victoria L. Champion and Renee Belair co-chaired The Villagers scholarship selection committee with Margie Palmer, Joanne Meagher, and Verna Hodges.
About The Villagers: The Villagers, Inc. is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of historic sites in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Founded in 1966, the all-volunteer organization is a not-for-profit 501(c)3. www.thevillagersinc.org
Photograph provided courtesy of The Villagers, Inc.: (L-R): Sydney Matsumoto, Shannar O’Connor, David Holmes from UM with Kaitlyn Fuson & Robert Colón from FIU.