WJA Foundation Awards Nearly $60K in Scholarships for 2022-2023
Scholarship winners received awards in six different categories.
Funds are raised through individual donations and various events and initiatives held throughout the year, including Giving Tuesday, a global movement that encourages people to give back in any way they can.
This year, the WJA Foundation has awarded $57,500 in scholarship funds.
Winners received awards in six different categories.
The Cindy Edelstein Scholarship was created to honor the late longtime WJA board member Cindy Edelstein and awards a $5,000 scholarship to emerging fine jewelry designers or artisans.
The recipient can pursue jewelry design, metalsmithing, or business courses, as long as they’re focused on improving their artistry and/or their designer jewelry business.
This year’s scholarship has been awarded to Gabrielle Saunders, a student at the Gemological Institute of America.
The Gabriel Love Foundation Scholarship was established and funded by the Gabriel Love Foundation of New York-based fine jewelry brand Gabriel & Co.
The scholarship provides funding for students who want to achieve professional growth within the jewelry industry and who plan to use their careers to improve communities and participate in charitable efforts.
This year’s $5,000 scholarship has been awarded to GIA student Oksana Membreno.
This year’s Designer Category winner is Emma McSallis (Maine College of Art and Design), and the Designer/Creator Category winner is Kindred Lubeck (GIA).
The foundation also launched two new awards this year—the Radiant Minds Technology Scholarship and WJA Diversity Scholarships for GIA Education.
The Radiant Minds Technology Scholarship was created by WJA Foundation, Jewelers Mutual Group, and Black in Jewelry Coalition with the goal of providing women of color the education they need to be successful in tech-related jobs within the jewelry and watch industry.
The recipient receives funding for a training or certification program focused on software engineering, including user-experience design, data analytics, and front and back-end design and web development, at a school of their choice, approved by the scholarship committee.
The inaugural scholarship has been awarded to Brittany Ylanlan, a student studying computer programming and mobile applications development at Tidewater Community College.
The Gemological Institute of America also made a pledge to fund new scholarships for students from underrepresented communities, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+, who want to take on-campus or online courses through GIA Education.
Recipients can select from various offerings, including GIA’s online Applied Jewelry Professional diploma program, the Diamond Essentials or Diamonds and Diamond Grading courses, or its on-campus Graduate Colored Stones diploma program and Jewelry Design certificate course.
This year, these scholarships were awarded to Cloyette Harris, Koolebogile Veronicah Mosweu, Grace Omwanza, Christina Soto, Ashley Tien, and Rebecca Wagner.
The WJA Foundation also provides various scholarships to students enrolled in jewelry or metalsmithing programs at accredited colleges, universities, or training schools between Aug. 1, 2022, and July 31, 2023.
Donations to the WJA Foundation can be made online.
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