New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) architecture student Daisy Kim of Whitfield, CT, recently was awarded a $2,500 New Jersey Carpenter-Contractor Trust (NJCCT) scholarship. Kim is in her fourth year of completing a five-year architecture program at NJIT’s New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA).
“We hope the scholarship will help to bridge the occasional gap between the trades and the designer world,” says NJCCT Director Phil Cooney. “We also hope to forge a stronger partnership between union carpenters, their contractors, and future designers.”
(Attention Editors: For an electronic photograph of Kim, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)
The scholarship enabled Kim to participate in a weeklong, hands-on program during which she shadowed professional carpenters working at the NJCCT Kenilworth training center. Thanks to the program, Kim now looks forward to a career in architecture as a working professional.
“I want to work out of the office with people who are actually building the buildings that I will design,” she said. “If I’m more involved with the contractors and carpenters, I expect -and now know--the results will be better.”
Kim’s journey has not been an easy one. She and her family are recent immigrants. They moved from Korea to Virginia in 1997 when Kim was only 16. Although the teenager could read and write English, she could not speak the language. Yet she and her parents were determined for Kim to achieve the rewards of the American educational system. By the time, Kim reached her junior year in high school, she saw herself earning a college degree.
More specifically, she dreamed of working in the field of design. There was only one snag. Although Kim was a strong math student, the young woman initially dismissed studying architecture. “I thought the field was too logical and mathematical,” she explained. But she was wrong. Although the typical architecture curriculum includes some math and science courses, she soon realized that mastering them would not be a problem for her. In addition, a career in architecture would allow Kim to indulge her love of design and creativity. Plus it was a field laden with challenges, a quality she believed she would enjoy.
“Dealing well with challenges is a trait that I learned from my father, a manager in a worldwide construction firm,” Kim said. “Although my dad was always busy and stressed over deadlines, he loves his work and does it well. I thought architecture would allow me to follow in his footsteps and enjoy the same degree of job satisfaction.” It was no surprise, when Daisy accepted a full academic scholarship to attend NJIT.
Four years later, the decision still pleases Kim. She looks forward to not only a creative career, but one in which she will be able to get out into the field, work with her hands and deal competently and confidently with the carpenters and other tradesmen whom she will need to rely on.