Foundation awards Milgard Scholarships to high school students

On March 26, the Home Builders Foundation awarded $4,000 in scholarships to four Portland-area high school students, thus concluding the Foundation’s annual Gary E. Milgard High School Scholarship Competition.  To date, this brings the Foundation’s total level of giving toward educational scholarships to over $106,000.

First place winner, Erin Grinich of McMinnville High School, received $2,000,

Second place winner, Traci Sirotiak of Newberg High School, received $1,000,

Third place winners, Jacob Niebergall of Sherwood High School and Michael Loy of Oregon Episcopal School, each received $500

The competition included three phases, each which shed light on the rewards and challenges faced by those in the home building industry. Overall, the competition pushed students to gain an in-depth understanding of the home building industry from an internal, experiential and practical perspective.

During phase one, applicants played Building Homes of Our Own, an interactive CD-Rom game which required them to design, build and sell a high quality home using the provided resources. Along the way, they were expected to identify and address community concerns, to set and stick to a budget and to creatively deal with landscaping and environmental issues.

Phase two asked the students to complete at least 16 hours of community service with a home building program, such as Habitat for Humanity. This gave students a hands-on experience in the world of construction and showed them the time, effort and skills necessary to thrive as a home builder. An added bonus of community service hours is the perspective gained from volunteerism.

Finally, students who advanced past the first two phases of the competition had to do research for and write a 500 word essay on an industry-related topic or an interview with a professional builder or remodeler. In doing so, they learned about the societal and familial benefits of home ownership, the community benefits of home building and the housing industry.

The Gary E. Milgard High School Scholarship Competition is one of three scholarship programs administered by the Home Builders Foundation. The other two include the Jim Irvine Statewide Scholarship Fund and Building Industry Scholarships Program.