Kelly J. Edwards Architecture Scholarship

Kelly Edwards, co-founder of Scott|Edwards Architecture, is lauded as “the most well-rounded architect” and a person with “incredible integrity.” He would often spend a lot of time mentoring our youngest staff and shaping them into versatile architects. Sadly, Kelly passed away in 2016, but the firm has determined a most fitting way to honor his name and promote what he stood for.

S|EA is proud to honor Kelly’s legacy by launching the Kelly J. Edwards Architecture Scholarship in partnership with the ACE Mentor Program of Oregon, an after-school program that helps high school students explore careers in architecture, construction management, and engineering.

The focus of our scholarship is to support underrepresented students that reflect what Kelly stood for as they pursue an architectural education. – Sid Scott, Principal

The annual scholarship awards $5,000 to one underrepresented student of color who is pursuing a college degree in architecture. Administered through ACE, the award is distributed such that the recipient can apply $2,500 each to their first two years of school. After their second year, a summer internship at S|EA is made available, as well as job shadow opportunities throughout the year.
Sid Scott shared the exciting news of the firm initiating a scholarship with Kelly’s wife, Pam Edwards. Elated, she also contributed $5,000 so that S|EA could award two scholarships in our first year. Thank you, Pam!

S|EA selected Tameta Thompson and Carina Carmona from a competitive pool of recent ACE graduates who intend to become architects.


Carina Carmona (left) and Tameta Thompson (right) are ACE Mentor graduates.

“S|EA’s commitment to the next generation is truly inspiring,” said ACE Board Secretary Kate MacKinnon Kiser, who chairs ACE’s scholarship committee. “It was an honor not only for ACE to make the student recommendations to S|EA, but to be included in the delivery of the news to such promising women in the field of architecture. It was so fun to get to share some great news to both of these ladies as they start their second year in college. What a boost from the industry to reinforce the opportunities ahead!”

 

The Recipients

Tameta Thompson graduated as an honor roll student from Reynolds High School in 2019. She self-identified as “a very shy kid,” so joining the ACE Mentor Program in her senior year felt like a huge step into adulthood but ultimately provided the confidence she needed to speak professionally in one-on-one conversations and in front of large crowds. Participating in ACE also clarified for her that passion for art and interest in interior design could in fact turn into a career.

Growing up, Tameta always enjoyed drawing and designing, and often asked for new colored pencils or the biggest LEGO set in the store for birthdays and holidays. She appreciates the variety of building types throughout Portland and understands their long-term value to the community. The ACE Mentor Program introduced her to construction, engineering, and architecture – an experience that helped her confirm that architecture is what she wants to pursue.

The way that my mentors speak about their passion for architecture made me realize that I am making the right decision for my future. When we draw out plans and talk about what the “big goal” for our project is, it comes easily to me. – Tameta Thompson

Tameta is starting her second year at Portland State University and is invited to intern with S|EA next summer.

 

Carina Carmona is a first-generation high school graduate. With a diploma from De La Salle North Catholic in 2019 and with two years in the ACE Mentor Program, Carina is starting her second year at the University of Oregon and is seeking acceptance into the Architecture program.

Carina shares that her parents moved to the United States to give their children a better life, a selfless act that has always motivated her to work hard and make her parents proud. That drive made Carina challenge herself throughout high school by taking advanced math and science classes, completing a gentrification class through Lewis & Clark College, engaging in an Engineering program at the University of Portland, competing in a Robotics club tournament where participants built and coded robots, and participating in ACE during her junior and senior years. This all led Carina toward pursuing engineering and architecture.

From a young age, Carina has loved to draw, especially sketching buildings and their complicated structures. Never the one to fit within an expected mold, Carina continued to dream big and was determined to find a career that fit her fascination with art and buildings.

I have been fighting to be an artist and work in the construction field for so long that I know I will not give up on this childhood dream. I am an artist. I am a builder. I will become an Architect.” – Carina Carmona

Similar to Tameta, Carina claims to have been very shy when entering the ACE Mentor Program. She not only gained confidence after her first year, however, but also rose to be a leader in her class. She shares that ACE has made her more open to change and taught her to appreciate the impact a single building can have on a community.

 

About the ACE Mentor Program of Oregon

Founded in 2006, the ACE Mentor Program of Oregon is an after-school program that helps about 150 high school students a year explore careers in architecture, construction management, and engineering. The Portland-area affiliate has served more than 1,400 students and awarded more than $715,000 in college scholarships.

To learn more about ACE, including mentoring opportunities, please visit their website at https://www.acementoroforegon.com/