2018 Modernism Week Scholarship Program

Four local students were awarded $20,000 in scholarship funding from Modernism Week and OneFuture Coachella Valley.

The mission of Modernism Week is to celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in the greater Palm Springs area.

In an effort to fulfill this mission, as well as support our local community, the Modernism Week Scholarship Program was launched in February 2011. This program provides scholarships to local students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design.

In 2018, $20,000 in scholarship funding was awarded to the Coachella Valley’s own students: Xitlali Casarrubias, Karla Roman Wong, Joseph Gonzales, and Karen Morales Mesa.

Pictured left to right: Lisa Vossler Smith (Modernism Week Executive Director), Karla Roman Wong, Karen Morales Mesa, Joseph Gonzales, Xitlali Casarrubias

“We are so proud to award scholarships to these deserving and talented students who want to study architecture and design and return to the Palm Springs area to contribute professionally to our local community,” said Modernism Week Executive Director Lisa Vossler Smith. “Our scholarships are also renewable for four years to help students complete their programs and fulfill their dreams.”

Scholarship recipient Karen Meza will be studying architecture at Cal Poly Pomona –  a field she wanted pursue since her freshman year of high school. “I feel absolutely grateful to have been selected as a scholarship recipient,” Meza said. “Not only am I receiving financial aid from an organization that supports my field but I’m also getting help from professionals who have experience in this occupation.”

“Receiving this scholarship means that someone believes in my success,” shared fellow scholarship recipient Xitlali Casarrubias. “This support encourages me to power through the hard times and keep pushing forward, and I will not stop until I achieve my dream of becoming an architect! After graduating from UC Berkeley, I plan to earn a master’s degree and then work under an architecture firm.”

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Karla Wong will be entering her final year in the undergraduate program, and has secured an internship at an architectural firm with the intent of obtaining her Architecture license. “Receiving the scholarship was more than a blessing,” Wong stated. “It only takes one person to believe in you, for you to get that chance you been waiting for so long; and I can’t say thank you enough for having this opportunity and been awarded the scholarship. The scholarship is more than just financial help, it symbolizes a support system made of individuals rooting you on along your path to achieving your dreams.”

We were proud to partner with OneFuture Coachella Valley, who provided matching funds to award each student with $5,000. OneFuture Coachella Valley works to help all students graduate prepared for college, career, and life — expanding and enhancing the local workforce so that our youth and economy thrive.

Congratulations to these future architects and all Coachella Valley students!

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