Winning Essay by CoreyAn T. From Kentucky Attending NKU
When I graduate from college my aspiration is to form a firm in interior design, construction and architectural management. As an African American woman myself; I have learned there is not as many in this field. Overtime I did some research on the one whom has started it all. I have come cross Norma Merrick Sklarek. She was the first African American woman licensed as an architect in the United States. She was also first to form her own architectural firm. Finding out I have the same passion as someone else before me and whom had accomplished what I soon will achieve overtime; she has inspired me to not give up and keep going, that it is possible to become a change in this world, and that my race and gender cannot get in the way of my dreams. Because if she can do it, so can I. Looking over her achievements in her architecture like the Pacific Design Center or as the Blue whale she was credited with, City Hall in San Bernardino, CA, the Fox Plaza In San Francisco, CA, Terminal One at the Los Angeles International Airport, CA, the Mall of America in Minneapolis and many more. But becoming the firm’s first female director in 1966, Vice president at Welton Becket Associates, Joining Margot Siegel and Katherine Diamond to establish Siegel, Sklark, Diamond, Principal at the Jerde Partnership and the list goes on. But as being a woman of color in this type of business achieving so much during her time when being a women and of color was twice as hard she did not let it get in the way of her dreams. I hope I will be able to live up to her accomplishments when I graduate and by giving back to my community by building for those in need of a place to sleep, grow, and learn because not all is as financially secured as many in the U.S. In helping out the community I have visions in building more shelters for the homeless, more community centers for the children so they will stay off the streets because they are our future and more businesses so that people will have jobs to support themselves and their family. 
My dream for building and designing for others, I hope to walk by one or many of the buildings and show my future family that I built it and I am proof that dreams can come true, to not give up, and that if you set your mind to it you can do all things through Christ whom strengthen you, Philippians 4:13 New King James Version. If not for doing research in learning about Norma Merrick Sklarek, I would probably have given up on my dream. But thanks to her in being my inspiration and motivator I have the confidence and drive to reach my dream and starting my own firm in interior design, construction management and architectural management in ability to support my and many communities.

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