The following post highlights the experiences of Jacqui Scibior, one of the NPCA Educational Foundation’s scholarship recipients. For more information on the NPCAEF Scholarship Program, click here.
My name is Jacqui Scibior and I am civil engineering undergraduate at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. I am currently studying international environment and development in Washington, D.C., at American University. I will spend the spring 2014 semester as a study abroad student at the University of Newcastle in Australia in a civil engineering curriculum.
As a recipient of the NPCAEF scholarship, I would like to express my gratitude to the donors who make this award possible. I am extremely grateful for your generosity; without your help, my top quality college education and diverse experiences would not be possible. In the future, I plan to volunteer and work in sustainable construction, developing-world housing and be involved with eco-friendly precast concrete.
I first had the desire to work with precast concrete during my recent travels. After visiting St. Croix and Belize, I recognized the need for durable, affordable concrete structures. I also witnessed many different concrete composites and aggregates being used in construction. I want to make housing more affordable. I also want housing to be constructed with local materials and eco-friendly for the warm climate countries which lack the income to purchase standard concrete. I will be traveling to Costa Rica in another month and hope to gain insight on the usage of precast concrete there.
As a student in D.C., I get the chance to attend many events and hear from a variety of speakers on the topic of sustainable development, which includes discussions of concrete use. The seminars I take at school often cover the importance of safe and durable housing to withstand natural disasters and crime, with concrete being the effective solution.
I am an intern at Roots of Development, a non-profit development organization that is currently working on a project to create a concrete block business in Haiti. I am also enthusiastically involved in the fundraising, outreach and promotion for this project. Although I have little biking experience, I am proud to have recently completed a 20 mile bike event, established in Connecticut as an annual fundraising effort for this project.
I love the feeling I get knowing I am doing something to help others in need. I feel I am paying forward the help I am currently receiving from the NPCAEF. I am also performing research on developing sustainable world housing. This involves conducting a case study on how various organizations approach housing in Haiti and determining the most successful and sustainable approach to creating the structures. This knowledge, combined with work I completed this spring building sustainable housing for orphans in the mountains in Belize, will increase my ability to develop and expand a more affordable, sustainable concrete product in lower-income countries.
I want to truly thank all NPCAEF donors and encourage any young women to enter the precast concrete industry. I will provide another blog upon my return from Costa Rica and am so excited to be taking part in all the diverse and educational experiences made possible in part by your organization.