Tri-C Plant Science Student Wins OGIA Scholarship
Gabrielle Fernandez earns Ohio Green Industry Association Presidential Scholarship to continue studies
A student in Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C®) Plant Science and Landscape Technology program has earned a scholarship from the Ohio Green Industry Association (OGIA).
Gabrielle Fernandez, a second-year student at Eastern Campus who will graduate in Spring 2024, was awarded a $3,000 Presidential Scholarship through OGIA’s Phil Kozel Memorial Scholarship Program. She was among six honorees to receive a scholarship, which is merit-based and available to college and high school students.
Her interest in horticulture began in 2019 when she kept houseplants as a hobby.
“I never considered myself as having a green thumb, but I realized how rewarding plant care was,” Fernandez said. “Once the pandemic hit, working in retail was really wearing on me, so I started researching horticulture careers and degree programs. I went with Tri-C because I knew it would be affordable, and I was surprised to learn what a fantastic program it is.”
Fernandez was a member of Tri-C's 2022 National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) team, which placed second overall nationally. Competing in two events, she placed fifth in 3D Exterior Landscape Design and 15th in Interior Plant Identification.
A native of Cleveland Heights, Fernandez wants to make green space more accessible in urban environments.
She spent this past summer building her skills as an intern at Lakeview Cemetery.
“Prior to Tri-C, I hadn't had the opportunity to practice horticulture skills because I've lived in rented homes with small yards,” Fernandez said. “But I felt very competent going into an industry job based on what I had learned in a year of classes and competing with Tri-C’s NCLC team.”
November 23, 2022
By Anthony Moujaes, 216-987-3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org