LEAF Awards 2023 Scholarships

by Marianne Estournes
Chair, LEAF Scholarship Selection Committee

Seeking to promote and support the future of the green industry, the Landscape Educational Advancement Foundation has awarded 10 scholarships to deserving green industry students.

In 2023, LEAF’s scholarship selection committee reviewed 26 scholarship applications. Their selection criteria included career goals, outside activities, work experience, financial need, letters of recommendation and GPA in their major.

The scholarships — funded by donations from CLCA members and other green industry professionals — have a huge, positive impact.

“We welcome these students to the green industry and know that they will bring their unique talents, goals, creativity and passions to the future of our profession.”

Marianne Estournes, LEAF Scholarship Selection Committee Chair

The LEAF Scholarship Committee is honored to persent our 2023 scholarship recipients.

Taylor Brown

Taylor is attending Santa Rosa Junior College and also taking on-line courses at Cal Poly, Humboldt, majoring in Environmental Horticulture. Taylor has a background in Business Administration with experience in sales and operations management. She is currently working for a local landscape company in sales and seeks to combine her love of landscaping with company leadership in operations and sales.

George Chabre

George is attending Cal Poly, SLO and majoring in Plant Sciences/Horticulture. His goals include earning a Qualified Applicator license and a C-27 landscape contractor’s license. He is involved in the Cal Poly campus horticulture community and loves learning all that he can from many experiences.

Darren Cocroft

Darren is attending Cabrillo College, majoring in Horticulture. He has overcome many challenges and has “discovered a bright future in horticulture,” where he sees many opportunities for growth and a career. He is currently working in a retail garden store and loves his work there.

Angela Goldin

Angela is attending Foothill College and is majoring in Horticulture. She is a second career student with a wide background in business and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a business owner and has worked for large finance firms. She now seeks to get her C-27 license and create a women-owned landscape construction firm focusing on native plant palates and sustainable practices. Angela presented her drive and motivation to succeed in her new chosen career path.

Lorena Guy

Lorena is attending Saddleback Community College. She is majoring in Sustainable Landscape Design. She is also a second career student and excited about her new-found passion in design and horticulture. She wants to have her own design business and eventually get her degree in Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly, Pomona.

Allison Jimenez

Allison is attending Santa Rosa Junior College and is majoring in Horticultural Landscape Design. She has a degree in Business Administration and is currently owns two small businesses with her husband. She also works for her father’s landscaping company in the field and is the in-house landscape designer. Her goal is to get her C-27 contractors license and work full time with her father. In addition, she is the mother of a child on the autism spectrum.

Jill Larrabee

Jill is attending Mount San Antonio Junior College. Her major is Ornamental Horticulture and she is working toward her Landscape Construction and Landscape Design certificates. While her focus is construction and getting her C-27 license, she sees the importance of gaining horticulture knowledge and is taking those classes as well. She has an extensive background in woodwork and making furniture and she now takes her art background into the Landscape. Her passion for her future in the industry shines forth in her application and she is open to the many possibilities before her.

Laura Lopez

Laura is studying landscape design and maintenance at Pierce College in Los Angeles. Her goal is to get her C-27 license and have her own business. She would like to do landscape design for the city of LA. Her instructor described her as “kind with a determined spirit.”

Jose Nunez

Jose is attending Mt. San Antonio College. He is majoring in Ornamental Horticulture and Integrated Pest Management and seeks a certificate in landscape construction. He wants to obtain a C-27 license and return to his family landscaping business, where he hopes to develop the business and add services.

Annica Wu

Annica is attending Cal Poly, SLO majoring in Plant Science with a Horticulture concentration. Annica completed an internship at the botanical gardens at the Huntington Library where she was exposed to many topics. She is currently working on campus as the assistant curator at the Robert F. Hoover Herbarium. She owns and operates an on-line succulent business where she propagates and grows the plants herself. Her ultimate goal is to work in a botanic garden and be able to share her love of plants and teach the public. While she is not a traditional landscape student, she will offer her love of horticulture and gardens in a unique and important way.

Thank You!

Thank you to the LEAF Scholarship Selection Committee for their continued diligence in the review and selection of our students. Thanks to all the CLCA members who have contributed over the years to make LEAF scholarships possible.
Joining me on the Selection Committee were Mary Cohen, Jan Nord, Wendy Emeterio, Cindy Singletary, Ellin Chariton and Jill Hertzer. We reviewed the applications, spent time discussing our findings, taking many factors into consideration.
At the end of our process, it was clear who had met the criteria and was deserving of a scholarship. This year we did have many students stating that they will become landscape contractors. This was good news.
This year, as every year, I have heard from many of the students expressing deep gratitude for the honor of being granted a scholarship and for the financial assistance the award provides.
We know that these scholarships have many benefits for the students and are gratified by their appreciation. We are proud of our recipients and hope to see them in the industry.
Marianne Estournes
LEAF Scholarship Selection Committee