The Interior Architecture Department has awarded second year candidate, Gracy Vandertrap, the prestigious 2016-17 Martin and Dr. Constance Silver Scholarship award of $5000 that will help her offset the costs of the program and allow her to succeed in her education at Florida International University.
Originally an accounting major, Gracy’s interest in architecture and interiors stemmed from watching HGTV while growing up. She found it fascinating to see how designers can impact people’s lives by designing a space that is beautiful and functional.
Searching for a college program that combined both fields, Gracy was thrilled to find the interior architecture program that Florida International University offered, making it her number one priority to become a golden panther. Her dedication and hard work paid off after she received admittance into the FIU Interior Architecture program.
However, being raised in a low-income, single mother household, her financial situation hindered her opportunity to pursue her dream career. “I was really struggling financially for this program because my mother passed away a few months ago and my father isn’t financially stable at the moment,” she continued, “At first, I was using loans to pay for classes and it was getting hard for me to continue on. Receiving this award means a lot to me and I am so grateful.”
Throughout her life, she was constantly on the move with her mother, not having a place to actually call home. “The fact the people that worked so hard to afford a home and then seeing them impacted after the transformation, inspired me to want to do the same,” she said.
Gracy’s passion and enthusiasm for design was truly moving. She learned that to reach her merits, she had to sacrifice and work hard.
While finishing up school, she has plans to contribute to her community by participating in building projects for those less fortunate. After graduation, she plans to pursue her career as an interior designer and create spaces that will impact and inspire people.