New Scholarship Recognizes Promise in Future Designers

We are pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Because Life Deserves Design Scholarship: Valeria Crites of Williamsville-Sherman High School, and Alexis Watkins and Boden Freeman, both of Mahomet-Seymour High School. 

The newly established scholarship — named for BLDD’s mission “Because Life Deserves Design” — recognizes senior high school students for their creativity, artistic passion, and potential in contributing to the world of architecture, interior design, or graphic design. Several Illinois students applied, showing great talent and promise for the future of design arts by submitting a unique piece of artwork that embodied the phrase “because life deserves design,” along with a written artist’s statement and materials showing their intent to pursue a design major in their secondary education plans.  

Valeria Crites: self-portrait entitled “LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST”

Standing out among the applicants, Valeria Crites received the top award for her application which included a mixed-media self-portrait entitled “LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST.” Noting inspiration from both pop-culture and a deeper connection with the unexpected challenges that can happen at any time (especially those facing the class of 2020 in relation to the current pandemic), Crites’ artwork was not only well-executed but a true embodiment of the BLDD mission. The jury of BLDD panelists was impressed by her “talent and a unique perspective that she can articulate both visually and verbally.” Crites was awarded a $1,500 scholarship, as well as a $1,000 Best Submission award. She plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall to pursue Architectural Studies. 

Alexis Watkins: digital portrait

Two Mahomet-Seymour students, Alexis Watkins and Boden Freeman, were also acknowledged for their strong applications. Watkins’ digital portrait illustrated a young woman holding an umbrella that shielded her from colorful raindrops. The jury noted the artwork had a “fun and playful composition that mixed wonder and whimsy. It was well-executed and vibrant.” Watkins was awarded $1,500 for her submission. She plans to attend Parkland College in the fall. 

Boden Freeman: residential home architectural rendering

Freeman was awarded $500 for his architectural rendering of a residential home. The jury was impressed with the design, noting it as “a solid residential design with logic and form that shows a desire to explore.” Freeman also plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall to pursue Architectural Studies. 

“On behalf of my colleagues at BLDD, we’re honored to help nurture the talents of students from our client districts across the Midwest region,” says Todd Cyrulik, BLDD Architects Principal and Director of the K12 Design Group. 


To learn more about the Because Life Deserves Design Scholarship, please visit www.bldd.com/scholarshipapp.

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