Arkansas Flower & Garden Show scholarship application deadline July 1
By U of A System Division of Agriculture
June 10, 2016
- AFGS providing five $1,500 scholarships to college students in horticultural fields
- Apply online by July 1
- Checks dispersed by August
LITTLE ROCK — Gardening enthusiasts and horticulture professionals are already preparing and looking forward to the 26th Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in February 2017. But thanks to a lesser known motive of the show, students across the state are looking forward to their own futures in the field.
While the beauty and grandeur of the show is enough to appeal to even the slightest of green thumbs, each year a number of well-deserving students reap the benefits of the largest 3-day gardening celebration in the state. The Arkansas Flower & Garden Show has been rewarding students exceling in horticultural fields with scholarships since 1993. Krista Quinn, Executive Director of the show, happened to be the first among a growing list of recipients.
“I grew up with a single mother who was working to put herself through college when I started college,” Quinn said. “Our family finances were really tight and without scholarships, grants and work study, I would not have been able to attend college full-time. The Flower and Garden Show scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies and immerse myself in the horticulture field.”
This year, the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show will be awarding five $1,500 scholarships.
For many students, Quinn said, the scholarships provided can mean the difference between a student ultimately attending college or not. For others, it relieves much of the burdens of college life experienced by students. For Shana Ricks, Service Manager for Plantation Services and a 2009 scholarship recipient, it meant continuing her education, as a new mother nonetheless, on the best footing possible.
“When I received the scholarship it was my last semester at the U of A,” Ricks said. “I had other scholarships as well, but I was able to graduate debt free. Unlike a lot of college students, I didn’t have to rush to find a job to start paying off student loans. I was able to take my time and find the right career move for me.”
For Stephen Gilbert, owner of Green Republic Design Group and Manager of Exterior Service Home Office for Wal-Mart, as well as a 2007 scholarship recipient, the funds helped to fill the gap that nontraditional students often struggle with.
“I was a student at U of A and quit to go into the military for four years,” Gilbert said. “When I came back I switched over to architecture, which I did the first year, and switched to landscape architecture in the fall. It is one of the most expensive programs you can be in as far as supplies and the money you need to do it. As a nontraditional student the recognition and financial support was a good deal because it’s a tough degree. It helped by having the recognition to put on your resume.”
The deadline for scholarship applications is July 1. Interested students can apply by visiting https://argardenshow.org/, and finding the scholarship application on the “Our Scholarship Program” page at https://argardenshow.org/about/grants-scholarships-education-2/.
Recipients will receive their scholarship checks no later than Aug. 15, 2016.
Education is at the core of the mission of the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show. Beyond the scholarships, the show features educational programs with leaders in various horticulture fields, including gardening and landscaping. Which is something Quinn said we all benefit from daily.
“From the food we eat to the spaces we enjoy, horticulture is important for our well-being,” she said. “The horticulture industry also employs thousands of people in Arkansas and contributes to the local economy. Landscaping can promote economic development, increase property values, reduce pollution and increase the enjoyment of outdoor spaces which is why it is the Show’s mission to promote gardening and beautification in Arkansas and support Arkansas’ next generation of horticultural professionals.”
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your (insert appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service