Aspiring senior architect wins $10,000 scholarship


Photo provided by Arya George

Senior Arya George stands with her parents after winning a $10,000 scholarship. “I did not think I would win,” George said. “They had six scholarships in total. There was one $1,000, four $5,000, and then the $10,000 scholarship. They called the $10,000, and said it was me. I freaked out. It was a dream.” The scholarships were given out at the ACE awards, which was a 15 week mentorship based program.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

There were six scholarships to give out. Five had already been awarded, and the grand prize, a $10,000 scholarship, awaited its lucky recipient. With her hopes down, senior Arya George said she couldn’t believe it when her name was called.

The two month ACE program (architecture, construction, and engineering) culminated at the awards night on Jan. 31. Ninety students from various schools were split into 15 teams and tasked with designing a hypothetical building in New York City.  

“I did not think I would win,” George said. “They had six scholarships in total. There was one $1,000, four $5,000, and then the $10,000 scholarship. They called the $10,000 and said it was me. I freaked out. It was a dream.”

Architecture teacher Donald Berliner said his hopes dwindled for George because two scholarships had already been awarded to two members in her group from different schools.

“I was really excited,” Mr. Berliner said. “I yelled way louder than she did. I just thought there was no way they’d keep giving them to the kids in the same group.”

Each group designed a building with three parts and were helped along the way by mentors who taught them about the different ACE careers. 

“The bottom was retail, the middle was an office for the client we were given, and the top floors were apartments,” George said. “We would work on each level and the exterior throughout the program. Each week, the different career we would learn about within the ace fields would be our focus.”

Senior Derek Holdeg, whose team won first place for their project board, said all of his architecture classmates in the program, including George, were really dedicated.

“They all had good connections, they were really smart, and they knew what they were doing,” Holdeg said. “It was just good to work with them.”

Berliner said he sees promise in George and said she was a student in his Architecture I class who also helped set up the architecture club.

“She is a great student,” Berliner said. “She is definitely going to be an architect. I could see her being a mentor in the ACE program in the future. Her artwork from last year I actually have hanging on the wall because it was so good.”

George realized from the program how big of an impact mentors can have on students, and how they can open up career opportunities.

“They volunteered to come every single week, out of their way to help us gain more knowledge, and it helped me a lot to choose the career I wanted to go into,” George said. “I think my biggest takeaway would be the fact that I want to be that person for other people too because it’s an amazing opportunity.”

To stay up-to-date on Prosper High news and views, follow Eagle Nation Online, @ENO_PHS, on both Twitter and Instagram.