Lessons From Our Future

Theirs are the voices of youth full of energy and optimism and bold, daring dreams that haven't been worn away yet by the day-to-day grind of the workplace.

They're voices that are tethered to an intense desire to excel, to the wisdom of thinking outside the box, to an acute sensitivity to the needs of kitchen/bath clients.

They speak of the desire to maintain integrity, deliver on promises, leave a lasting mark on the people whose lives they touch.

They resonate with an impressive maturity and command of the language.
They emanate from young people who'll one day be setting the trends, establishing the standards, expanding the boundaries, and giving the kitchen/bath industry its direction.

Listen to them speak:

"As a kitchen and bath designerI will always be honest with my clients, fellow designers and employees. When customers come to me, they'll know that I'm someone who demands honesty and professional practices. When a client commits to a design, they entrust you with their dream. I understand this. I also understand that dreams are something not to be taken lightly."
Elizabeth Goltz, U. of Neb. at Kearny

Hear what they have to say:

"My goal in the upbeat, competitive world of design is to make a difference by becoming unique in each individual design. I feel it is important to remain open-minded. I will have hurdles to jump, and when I land, all I will have to show is that I have learned something new. To me, the design of a kitchen or bath is comparable to a vast, beautiful, open field with no fences or boundaries. With each design I create, I hope the viewer notices something new they had not previously noticed."
Kelly Vogt, Indiana State University

Be encouraged by their words:

"Now, more than ever, interior environments need to be pleasing and comforting to those who inhabit them. People desire a sense of tranquility in every space in their home. Since not everyone has the knowledge to turn a room into a special haven, this is where I'll make a difference in peoples' lives. I will help people achieve spaces that are truly and uniquely theirs."
Teresa Seegers, Alexandria Tech. College

The voices we're quoting are those of the students named as winners in the 2002 "Student Designer Scholarship" program, an annual competition co-sponsored by Kitchen & Bath Design News and the National Kitchen & Bath Association. The program, aimed at assisting the educational efforts of promising students at NKBA-endorsed colleges, saw the students honored during last month's Kitchen/Bath Industry Show.

K&BDN takes great pleasure in offering these scholarships, and in reading the required essays on the topic: "How I Plan to Make a Difference in the Kitchen and Bath Design Industry."

It's rewarding to feel that we're playing some small role in nurturing the talent of students like the 2001 winner, Pam Di Valerio, of Learning Tree University, who wrote:

"As a designer it is a great honor to be asked to come into a client's home, and literally become part of their family, life and world for the duration of the project. It will be my responsibility to know the design process and the needs of my client as that process is taking shape. I will need to have the clarity of vision and sharpness of imagination to create kitchens and bathrooms that will be of greatest benefit to my clients."

It's refreshing inspiring, even to listen to voices like that of another 2001 winner, Stephanie Schneider, of the University of Nebraska at Kearny, whose essay read, in part:

"I want to be known as someone who does it right the first time. No one wants a designer who is going to do something just to get it done. I will strive to think 'outside the box.' I will take pride in all of my work, and will do whatever it takes to make it the best design for each particular person."

Our thanks go to the NKBA for helping K&BDN offer the scholarship program. Our thanks go, as well, to the NKBA-endorsed college instructors who are, obviously, having an enormously positive impact on the professional aspirations of their students.

Lastly, our thanks go to the winners of the scholarship program themselves. They remind us about virtues all of us should carry to the workplace each day. They reassure, through their voices and their wisdom and their words, that the future of the kitchen and bath industry is seemingly in very good hands.