American Floral Endowment Recognizes 22 Students With Scholarships

AFE 2023 Scholarship WinnersThe American Floral Endowment (AFE) provides scholarships in floriculture to help attract, retain, and support young professionals to our industry. AFE scholarships act as a powerful catalyst for the next generation of floral industry leaders. Financial constraints can deter many students, but with the help of these scholarships, future industry leaders and innovators are able to access quality education and training, paving the way for a promising future in the floral industry.

Congratulations to the AFE Scholarship Class of 2023. This year, AFE awarded 22 students from 13 universities with scholarships, totaling $58,100. In 2023, AFE received 86 applications from colleges and universities all over the nation.

Here’s a closer look at just a few of the 2023 scholarship winners; you can find the full list and learn more about all the winners here.

Richard T. Meister Scholarship: Jenny Ryals, Mississippi State University

“This scholarship means that I will be able to continue working towards my dream of one day being a faculty member promoting all things floral design and ornamental horticulture related,” says Ryals, who is pursuing a degree in horticulture and a minor in plant pathology. “This scholarship will also help ensure that I am able to continue my job and studies knowing that my educational expenses are being taken care of and not causing a financial burden on my family.”

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Richard “Dick” T. Meister built a family business in publishing for specialized growers in commercial horticulture. He was a strong supporter of the land-grant college system and, through the years, worked closely with many horticultural and floricultural leaders. He passed in 2020, but this scholarship continues to honor his memory. This scholarship is dedicated to the outstanding accomplishments of those in university extension and especially to Will Carlson in floriculture. The Meister Scholarship is open to graduate students in floriculture intending to pursue their career in the land-grant university system with an interest in research, extension, or teaching.

National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association Scholarship: Lauren Staley, North Carolina State University

“Receiving this scholarship from the association will significantly enhance my academic pursuits, enabling me to achieve my aspirations of earning a horticulture degree and excelling in the industry,” says Staley, who is pursuing a degree in Horticultural Science, with a focus on propagation systems and entrepreneurship. “I am sincerely grateful for the support of the dedicated individuals who are generously contributing to the advancement of the skills and knowledge of future professionals in this field.”

Harold Bettinger Scholarship: Ethan Jenkins, North Carolina State University

“Financials are always an added stress in the life of every college student, but thankfully, there are gracious people out there willing to support students,” Jenkins says. “This scholarship has helped me during the final year of my graduate studies, allowing me to finish out strong and prepare for my career in horticulture.”


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