Helene Dondero, a senior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), has been selected to receive the second annual CalFlowers Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded every year to an undergraduate student who demonstrates a commitment to working in the floriculture industry.
Dondero is a senior at Cal Poly majoring in agricultural science with an emphasis in ornamental horticulture and a minor in agricultural business. She grew up in the floral industry, working in her family’s business, Fiore Floral and Gifts, and participating in and leading numerous student and industry organizations at Cal Poly and with Future Farmers of America (FFA). She plans to return to Cal Poly to complete a master’s degree in agricultural science after she graduates in the spring of 2020.
“My goal is to be an agricultural science teacher and FFA Advisor. I will be able to share my general knowledge of agriculture with my students and the knowledge I’ve gained from my hands-on experience working in floral, wholesale, and growing operations,” said Dondero. “I feel that from this hands-on experience – and relationships I have built in the industry – I have a greater understanding of the vastness of the horticulture industry, and I look forward to sharing that with my students.”
“We’re pleased to provide this award to someone who is committed to sharing her knowledge of and dedication to California horticulture with her future students,” said Michael LoBue, CEO of CalFlowers.
The third year of the CalFlowers scholarship quickly approaches, and applicants are encouraged to watch for information about the application process on the American Floral Endowment (AFE) website in early 2020. AFE is the administrator of the scholarship program.