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The American Floral Endowment’s James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant is a testament to family values and deep-rooted passion for the floral industry. The Phillips left a profound impact on floral design, and today, their legacy is carried forward through the work of inspired young professionals and recipients of the Grant!

In the 2021-2022 academic year, five institutions were awarded funding through the Grant to provide scholarships to floral design students. Lauren Baskin of Mississippi State University shared with us how her floral design passion came to fruition and what the James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant means to her.

“I am so excited to continue my educational journey at Mississippi State University, as it is known for its rich agricultural heritage. I have always had a passion for agriculture, even before I understood what it fully encompassed. Growing up, my parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents all gardened. Additionally, my father and grandfather farmed row crops. I remember finding it fascinating how a single seed could create such a beautiful plant and intricate flowers as a child. My family’s open-mindedness has not only enhanced my interest in this field but encouraged me to explore other agricultural adventures beyond the scope of which I was exposed. As a result, I am pursuing this love and passion and continuing my education in floral design.  

 I am grateful for the American Floral Endowment’s James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant, as it significantly helps me achieve my goal of working in the floral industry. In addition to my studies, I am an executive board member of the Student’s of America Institute of Floral Designers. Furthermore, I accepted a position at University Florist in an effort to gain as much insight as possible through these ventures. I plan to continue this job throughout my college career.

 I am most grateful to be chosen as a recipient of the James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant as I would like to contribute to the significant burden of my college tuition. I consider this Grant an investment in my future and in the floral industry.” Lauren Baskin, Mississippi State University

That is what the Grant and AFE pursue… a better future for the floral industry. Opportunities like these provide options, open doors, and invest in the growth of industry professionals and personnel. Stories like Lauren’s help give a clearer picture of the importance of these programs and the greater impact of their success.

Applications for the James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant are due by March 1 every year. AFE also provides ample opportunity like this through funding educational grants, scholarships, internships, and research.

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