WJA Foundation Awards $54K in Scholarships
The organization presented scholarships to nine students across six categories.
The funds are awarded to students looking to further their education and advance their careers in the jewelry industry.
Scholarship winners received awards in six categories.
The “Radiant Minds Technology” scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Rosado, a student enrolled in University of California Berkeley’s Coding Boot Camp.
The award was created via a collaboration among the WJA Foundation, Jewelers Mutual Group, and the Black in Jewelry Coalition. The scholarship aims to provide women of color the education they need to be successful in tech-related jobs within the jewelry and watch industry.
The recipient will receive 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, that will then be approved by the scholarship committee.
The WJA Foundation, in partnership with the Gemological Institute of America, awarded diversity scholarships to Gwen Beloti, Nicole Cisneros, Emi Harase, and Tadiwanashe Madzime.
The diversity scholarships are awarded to students from underrepresented communities, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals, that are looking to take courses through GIA Education, either on-campus or online.
Recipients can choose from a number of GIA courses, including the Applied Jewelry Professional diploma program and Diamond Essentials and Diamonds and Diamond Grading courses, or its on-campus Graduate Colored Stones diploma program and Jewelry Design certificate course.
The Gabriel Love Foundation Scholarship was awarded to GIA student Cydney Elliott.
The $5,000 scholarship was established and funded by the Gabriel Love Foundation of Gabriel & Co. to support the recipient’s professional growth within the jewelry industry. It’s given to a student who wants to use their jewelry industry careers to improve their communities and give back through charitable efforts of their own.
The Cindy Edelstein Scholarship, created in honor of the late Cindy Edelstein, a longtime WJA board member, was awarded to Casey Perez.
The scholarship is presented in memory of Edelstein, known for her advocacy for up-and-coming jewelry designers.
In that same spirit, the $5,000 award is given to emerging fine jewelry designers and “memorializes Edelstein’s tireless pursuit of educating, mentoring, and coaching these entrepreneurs,” said the WJA Foundation.
The recipient can use the scholarship toward jewelry design, metalsmithing, or business courses focused on improving their artistry and jewelry business.
The foundation also awards scholarships to students enrolled in jewelry or metalsmithing programs at accredited colleges, universities, or training schools between Aug. 1 and July 31, 2024.
This year’s “Designer Category” winner is Julia King of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
The “Designer/Creator Category” winner is Betsy Yates of the New Approach School.
Funds for the scholarships are raised through individual donations and fundraising events and initiatives held throughout the year, including WJA’s upcoming 40th Anniversary Ruby Gala Fundraiser taking place on Nov. 2 in New York City.
For more information or to donate, visit the WJA Foundation website.
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