AIA New York’s 2030 Fund Awards $7,500 Toward Student Loan Forgiveness to Six Young BIPOC Professionals
May 15, 2023
AIA New York is excited to announce that the chapter has awarded a total of $7,500 to help six aspiring BIPOC architects pay off their student loans through the 2030 Fund, which seeks to help build a more diverse and representative profession.
The 2030 Fund was created by AIANY 2021 President Kenneth A. Lewis, AIA, in collaboration with the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (nycoba|NOMA) in recognition of the profession’s diversity problem and the unique challenges faced by young BIPOC professionals pursuing licensure. According to NCARB by the Numbers 2022, people of color remain critically underrepresented in the field, with BIPOC only accounting for 17 percent of architects nationwide. The fund seeks to support NOMA’s 2030 Challenge, which aims to double the number of licensed Black architects by the end of the decade.
The 2030 Fund’s six 2023 awardees were selected from 22 applicants from across the United States. Beyond student loan support, the recipients will also receive free access to ARE prep courses organized by AIA New York and an opportunity to meet quarterly with an architect mentor who will provide early career and licensure guidance. To be considered, BIPOC applicants had to have completed a bachelor’s and/or graduate degree, have outstanding student loan balances, and be able to demonstrate a plan to pursue architectural licensure.
“AIA New York is committed to helping the architectural profession become more representative of the communities architects serve,” said AIANY and Center for Architecture Interim Executive Director Jesse Lazar. “We hope that the 2030 Fund, now in its second year, and its unique direct assistance model will continue to inspire other AIA chapters across the country to support the careers young BIPOC professionals through similar initiatives.”
Wilfrido (Wil) Adames
Wilfrido (Wil) Adames is an architectural designer native of the Dominican Republic with four years of experience. Adames received his Bachelor of Architecture at Pratt Institute. Formerly at Romines Architecture and Murdock Solon Architects, he is currently an Intermediate Architectural Designer at Gluck+.
Adames’s is passionate about designing innovative and experimental forms to create spaces that influence users and their surroundings in an uplifting and dignifying manner.
Adames identifies as a Dominican of African, European, and Indigenous descent.
Hamees Gabr graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Architecture from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at CCNY. An emerging architect, researcher, and educator, she is pursuing an Urban Design degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design with the hopes of later pursuing a doctorate.
Since an early age, Gabr dreamed of becoming an architect to promote social change, reshape boundaries, and build a better world. Gabr considers architecture to be a boundless field with a unique and unmatched anthropological beauty, where imagination and design combine to create an authentic, long-lasting impact on the world.
Hamees identifies as Egyptian American.
Chae Park is a designer and educator based in New York City. She received a Master of Architecture from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was trained in the unique combination of classical music, fine arts, architecture, construction, and urban design, which have shaped her to be an interdisciplinary and diversely equipped creative thinker.
Park explores the inextricable tie between memory and architecture with an emphasis on silenced or forgotten narratives. Her works include drawings, spatial projects, films, and texts. She has worked in Seoul, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City and participated in the Future School Summer Studio: Transborder Lab, whose work was exhibited at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.
Chae identifies as a BIPOC, Asian American woman.
Reuben Posada is an aspiring architect from Dallas, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University with minors in Sustainable Architecture/Planning and Business Administration. He also holds a Master of Architecture from Cornell University. At school, his academic work explored social interactions across varying scales, from domestic spaces to transportation projects and public space interventions.
Posada is particularly interested in developing architecture within an interdisciplinary network that solves contemporary problems, engages the social fabric, and challenges conventions. He is currently an Intermediate Designer at Fogarty Finger. Previously, he worked at Jane Kim Design in New York and Corgan in Dallas. Throughout his career he has worked on private single-family, mid-sized multi-family, aviation, and master planning projects.
Reuben identifies as a US-born Latino of Mexican descent.
Jahaan Scipio received a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University, where she minored in Mathematics and graduated magna cum laude. After graduating from Syracuse University, Scipio lived and practiced in New York City, working at Peterson Rich Office and Perkins Eastman on residential, retail, and hospitality projects.
Scipio is currently pursuing a Master of Architecture at Yale’s Post-Professional Program, where she is a recipient of the Frank Gehry Scholarship. Her independent research in the program focuses on collective mapping and critical cartography through social engagement. Scipio has held several teaching fellowships at Yale University and has served as an issue editor and coordinating editor for the student-run publication Paprika! Her academic work has been published and exhibited in Retrospecta, Constructs, and Guggenheim Bilbao.
Scipio identifies as a Black African-American woman.
Stephen A. Sewar
Stephen A. Sewar is an aspiring architect from Tampa, Florida, where he received his master’s degree at the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture. In the last few years, Sewar has developed his project management and leadership skills by contributing to project design, attending client meetings, and conducting surveys for construction sites, most recently with Soluri Architecture.
Sewar enjoys living in the big city and enjoys photography, modeling, and working out in his free time. It is his long-awaited goal to become a licensed architect to pay his respects to his late father.
Sewar identifies as Black Jamaican-American.
2030 FUND SELECTION COMMITTEE
Venesa Alicea-Chuqui, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP
Matthew Bremer, AIA
Andrea D. Lamberti, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Allison Lane, AIA, ASID, NOMA
Jesse Lazar, AIANY Interim Executive Director
Kenneth A. Lewis, AIA
Gregory T. Switzer, AIA, NOMA, NCARB
About AIA New York
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with more than 5,500 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development. www.aiany.org