Florida Green Building Coalition Announces Record Number of 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Florida Green Building Coalition Announces Record Number of 2024 Scholarship Recipients

ST. PETERSBURG – The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), the leading certifier of green residential and commercial construction and local governments in the state, is awarding a record six scholarships as part of its statewide post-secondary scholarship program.

Jenny Basantes, Tori Guarino, Shelby Malaise, and Carter Oleckna attending the University of Florida, Samantha Nowak from the University of Miami and Emily Wilder studying at Florida State University will receive $1,000 scholarships for the 2024 – 2025 academic year.

FGBC created the scholarship program in 2016 for deserving students pursuing careers in the green built environment or related sustainability studies.

“We had an outstanding crop of applicants. These six students made quite an impression and scored high in all areas. We are excited to award them scholarships and continue to invest in the future of sustainability in our state,” noted Deirdre Irwin, chair of the Scholarship Sub-Committee, part of the FGBC Education Committee.

Basantes, Margate, Fla., is a graduate student in the Master of Integrated Sustainability Development with a focus on more sustainable and resilient built environments. She wants to work as a green building consultant, green rater, or environmental consultant. She completed the two-day Florida Green Home Certification course and exam offered by FGBC.

Guarino, Naples, Fla., is working on her graduate degree in ecological restoration and plant pollinator networks she plans to apply her knowledge and skills to improve habitats and biodiversity in local areas and greenspaces. She collaborates with Charlotte County as an Administrative Intern for the Water Quality Division, alongside Carter Oleckna.

Malaise, Gainesville, Fla., is a Sustainability and the Built Environment major, she also has an interest in renewable energy. She hopes to utilize her research, communication, and spatial planning skills as a possible urban planner, sustainability officer/advisor in the construction field or in government.

Oleckna, North Port, Fla., after graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Florida Gulf Coast University, he is in the doctoral program studying seagrass ecology. He serves as an intern for water quality assisting with promoting and building the initiative “One Charlotte, One Water” to encourage long-term water health.

Nowak, Cheshire, CT., hopes to obtain green building credentials to obtain a leadership role at an architecture firm who specializes on sustainable design. As a Sustainability Intern at a building energy and sustainability consulting firm. Her time at SOCOTEC consisted of credit certification assistance on green projects, as well as organizing green certified project information within the firm.

Wilder. Deltona, Fla., is completing a Bachelor of Science in Geology. She hopes to gain the knowledge and skills for a career in geosciences. Her career goals involve working towards sustainability, applying her knowledge in green building settings, and collaborating with environmental engineers and sustainability scientists in Florida.

“Congratulations to this year’s six scholarship recipients. Also, thanks of the FGBC scholarship committee that reviewed the applications,” said FGBC President Bill Kachman. “FGBC believes in supporting the future of our industry by helping connect students with educational opportunities. This group brings energy and talent to their academics and community.”

The FGBC “Florida Green” Certification Program tailors’ carbon-reducing, green building standards to the Florida climate, allowing builders, developers, and communities to meet green building standards while simultaneously constructing sustainable properties best suited for Florida’s ecosystem.

In 2000 the non-profit FGBC brought together industry professionals from the construction, government, academic and research communities to create green building standards tailored specifically to Florida. FGBC is by far the largest certifier of green residential and commercial construction, local governments, communities in the state with over 35,000 green certified projects.

Florida Green Building Coalition