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MJSA Education Foundation Awards $10,000 in Scholarships

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(PRESS RELEASE) The MJSA Education Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing professional skills in jewelry making and design, recently awarded three students scholarships totaling $10,000. That amount includes a $2,500 scholarship provided by the Providence Jewelers Club Foundation for students enrolled in an eligible Rhode Island program.

The following three students received funding:

Nicholas Bates ($4,000 scholarship), who is entering the two-year degree program at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology (TIJT) at Paris Junior College in Paris, TX. He plans to study jewelry technology and gemology at TIJT. When he was in the eighth grade, Bates began helping out at a jewelry store in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee; after only a few years, he was handling all manufacturing for the store’s Touched Impression line of personalized jewelry. He envisions a future as a “successful bench jeweler and gemologist” and intends to run his own shop. Bates expects to graduate in April 2020.

Quinn Davis ($3,500 scholarship), who is pursuing a graduate jeweler diploma at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) campus in Carlsbad, CA. A recent graduate of New Vista High School in Boulder, CO, Davis participated in a work-study program with a local jeweler. He now wants to “master the ancient art of metalwork” and, like the heros of his beloved epic adventure tales, undergo “a transformation fueled by hard work and dedication” to become a professional goldsmith. He is scheduled to graduate in February 2019.

Cathryn Jasterzbski ($2,500 scholarship through the Providence Jewelers Club Foundation), who is a graduate student in jewelry and metals at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, RI. After graduation from RISD, she plans to pursue teaching as a career. However, she isn’t going to give up on her own jewelry making: She recently launched a jewelry line, UTERO, designed to provide financial support to women without health insurance in developing countries. Jasterzbski expects to graduate in May 2019.

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A 501(c)(3) non-profit subsidiary of MJSA (the trade association dedicated to professional jewelry making and design), the MJSA Education Foundation develops and supports programs that help to ensure the jewelry industry maintains a qualified, competitive workforce. Since 1997, it has given more than $210,000 in scholarship funding. Funds for the scholarships are generated through the Foundation’s Scholarship Group, which consists of six permanent endowment funds managed by the Rhode Island Community Foundation on behalf of MJSA and the Foundation.

Any student enrolled in a jewelry program, whether through a university or trade school, who intends to pursue a career in the jewelry industry, and who can demonstrate financial need, is eligible to apply for an MJSA Education Foundation scholarship. Applicants are assessed on the basis of course of study, academics, career plans, recommendations, and industry experience. Students must be U.S. citizens.

To learn more about the MJSA Education Foundation and various educational and professional opportunities, click here.

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