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22 Students Recognized with Scholarships

22 Students Recognized with Scholarships

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) provides more scholarships in floriculture than any other organization to help attract, retain, and support young professionals to our industry. AFE scholarships act as a powerful catalyst for the next generation of floral industry leaders. Financial constraints can deter many students, but with the help of these scholarships, future industry leaders and innovators are able to access quality education and training, paving the way for a promising future in the floral industry. 

Congratulations to our Scholarship Class of 2023! This year, we have awarded 22 students from 13 universities with scholarships, totaling $58,100. In 2023, we received 86 applications from colleges and universities all over the nation. We would like to give a special thank you to the 52 industry members who reviewed and scored the applications!

Please join us in congratulating these future industry leaders! Learn more about these students and what these scholarships mean to them.


Cherise Hunt
Mt. San Antonio College, Horticulture
American Florists’ Exchange Scholarship – $3,000

I am so thankful and feel very fortunate to receive this scholarship. This will allow me to continue to reach for and achieve my goals and dreams. It will help me to get the certifications needed to further advance myself in my career field, and it shows my children that hard work and dedication can pay off and to never stop striving to be the best you can be.”

About the American Florists’ Exchange Scholarships:
The Original Los Angeles Flower Market was established in 1921, and the flower market is now part of the largest wholesale flower district in the U.S. Eligible recipients are juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, majoring in agriculture with an emphasis on a future in floriculture. This scholarship provides tuition assistance to students attending a college/university in California or student residents of California attending a college/university in other areas of the U.S.


Sophia LeBard
Washington State University, Horticulture and Music
Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship – $3,200

This scholarship will help my financial stability while I work my way through my final year before receiving my degree. Knowing that I am able to feel secure will allow me more time to pursue opportunities that will benefit my academic future.”

About the Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarships:
Julio “Toots” Armellini was the founder of Armellini Express Lines, the largest flower carrier service in the U.S. Armellini enlisted in the Navy as a “Seabee” and was stationed all around the globe as a mechanic, where he learned the skills he used to modernize refrigerated trucking.
Armellini Logistics was started in 1945. When he began expanding his lines in the early 1950s, refrigeration was new and underdeveloped, so he established a more effective way of cooling his supplies using a system of constant airflow. ThermoKing eventually made his contributions to refrigeration systems standards. Today, Armellini Logistics encompasses many businesses: Armellini Express Lines, Inc., J.A. Flower Service, Armellini Freight Brokerage, Armellini Air Express, and Dash Mobile Storage. Established by Julio and Sarah before their passing, the Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship is intended for sophomore, junior or senior students with a career interest in the marketing or distribution of floral products.


Benjamin Stickland
Colorado State University, Horticulture with a concentration in Floriculture, Environmental Horticulture with a concentration in Landscape Design & Contracting, Minor in Spanish
Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship and Suntory Flowers “Dream Big” Scholarship – $2,900

“I am so honored to be receiving this scholarship because it means that I will be able to continue to explore all of the fascinating and diverse fields in the horticulture industry, and focus all of my time into pursuing the career I have always dreamed of.”

About the Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship:
Ball Horticultural Company is a leading international breeder, producer, and wholesale distributor of floriculture products. Ball brings the beginnings of color, foliage, fruit, and form to professional growers around the world for the retail and landscape markets. The Ball Horticultural Company Scholarship is intended for junior or senior students pursuing a career in commercial floriculture.

About the Suntory Flowers “Dream Big” Scholarships:
Based in Japan,
Suntory Flowers is a world-class breeding company dedicated to innovation and enriching people’s lives by creating a world that’s alive with flowers. Suntory’s guiding philosophy and passion is “Yatte Minahare” – the spirit of bold ambition to dream big, take challenges and never give up. This means challenging conventional methods and striving to make the impossible possible, like creating the first blue rose or revolutionary new crops, such as Surfinia petunias, Sun Parasol mandevillas, and Million Bells calibrachoas. Let’s inspire the next generation to dream big and go for it with the “Yatte Minahare” spirit while contributing to the growth of our industry. Suntory Flowers Scholarship is intended for junior or senior undergraduate students attending a two- or four-year institution, with a demonstrated focus on a career in floriculture or ornamental horticulture breeding or production, with a passion for exploration in developing new and innovative floral products.


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AFE awards more than 30 scholarship annually – thanks to industry donors and organizations.  If you or your organization would like to discuss establishing a scholarship through AFE, please reach out. There are more students applying than funding available, and these scholarships make a real difference to these students. More details on AFE scholarships are available at endowment.org/scholarships. AFE awards these scholarships annually, and all applications are due by May 1 of each year. A condensed list of recipients and awards can be found below.