LEAF Awards Scholarships
Nine Green Industry Students Receive A Total of $42,500
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 nine scholarships totaling $42,500. The scholarships ranged from $800 to $12,000.
In 2022, LEAF’s scholarship selection committee reviewed 22 scholarship applications. Their selection criteria included career goals, outside activities, work experience, financial need, letters of recommendation and GPA in their major.
The scholarships — the the donations of CLCA members and other the green industry professionals who fund them — have a huge, positive impact.
“I admire their passion and focus and believe that these young people will be leaders in our industry.”
Marianne Estournes, LEAF Scholarship Selection Committee Chair
The LEAF Scholarship Committee is honored to persent our 2022 scholarship recipients.
Christopher Burroughs is a fourth-year recipient. Chris is presently attending San Diego State University and is majoring in Environmental Sustainability. He is still involved in his non-profit organization, Garden 31 Community Initiative, where he provides training in the basics of the landscape industry. He hopes to create green spaces in parts of cities that lack trees and flowers to provide them with beauty and hope. He is dedicated to giving back to his community by teaching young men and women about landscaping, give them solid work skills and to have an attainable goal. He is appreciative of the support we have given him over the years.
Sawyer Claussen is a sophomore at Cal Poly SLO majoring in Plant Science. He is a motivated young man who understands service. He was active in high school with many groups and is involved on campus with ag-related clubs while working getting related job experiences. He loves hands-on work, and his ultimate goal is to own a landscaping company. He already has his sights on a company where he would like to work after he graduates. He respects landscaping and understands how it affects the lives of the customer. We see him as a young man with drive, motivation and a good understanding of what he would like to offer this industry. We hope that we can support him again next year.
Cherise Hunt is currently attending Mt. San Antonio college, majoring in Ornamental Horticulture. She comes to the field from being a pre-school teacher. She started gardening with her own children after her husband passed away and found peace and enjoyment. Cherise is focusing on Integrated Pest Management and plant pathology. She has motivation and purpose in her career pursuits.
Ian Kerr transferred last Fall from Modesto Junior College to Cal State University Stanislaus, where he is majoring in Agriculture Business. He is just starting in his major, but is motivated and passionate about landscaping. His goal is to start a landscape company to “service my community in Stanislaus County”. We felt that this young man deserved a scholarship.
Dani Lima received a scholarship in 2020 and re-applied in 2022. She attends Cal Poly Pomona and is a Plant Science major with emphasis in urban environmental horticulture. She would eventually like to become a Water Conservation Specialist. Dani is QWEL and MWELO certified and is a CLCA Certified Water Manager. She is currently working at the Long Beach Water Department and has worked for Walt Disney Parks as a horticulture specialist and as a field botanist for California Botanic Gardens. She does have goals to become a C-27. She is described as a leader, mature and has a good work ethic. She has dreams and aspirations in the industry and we were happy to support her again.
Frances Lopez is a sophomore at Foothill College majoring in Environmental Horticulture and Design. This is her second career after a successful but not satisfying run in global sales. She is now following her dream of a working in the plant and landscaping industry. Her goal is to become a C-27 contractor and have a small construction and maintenance company.
Magdalena Porter is a junior at Cal Poly SLO majoring in Agriculture and Environmental Plant Science. Her career goals are taking shape as she is working in a small nursery and enjoys plant material and how it works into the landscape. She is interested in working at a botanical garden. She eventually would like her own landscape business. She just loves plants and is not afraid of hard work.
Madison Roger is a junior at Cal Poly SLO majoring in Plant Science. Her interests include sustainable land management, efficient irrigation and native plant use. She envisions herself working on large-scale landscaping projects, such as large developments, to help minimize the environmental impacts. She is grateful for the hands-on approach at Cal Poly and is excited about her education.
Greg Thayer is a sixth-year scholarship recipient. Greg is attending Cal Poly Pomona and studying to become a Landscape Architect. He also wants to become an ISA Certified Arborist. His hope is to craft landscapes which inspire people to connect with their regional environment and support the well-being of their shared ecosystems. He is also very grateful to LEAF for the ongoing assistance we have given to him to make his education possible over the years.
Thank you to the 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.
Our Selection Committee was happy to give scholarships to young students with promise. In 2022, we received 22 applications with nine students receiving an award.
We look forward to a new crop of applications so that we can pick out the jewels and support them as they get an education while reaching for the stars!