Apply to Mentor an LAF Ignite Student
LAF is now accepting applications for mentors for the first cohort of Ignite students with mentorship to begin in June 2023.
Mentors are experienced and compassionate landscape architecture professionals who are ready to learn and grow with the Ignite students. Interested individuals must be able to commit to mentorship for the duration of the student’s time in the program.
Applications are due May 26.
Mentors provide guidance and support to help the students identify and pursue their career goals. LAF works with each Ignite student to identify their mentorship priorities and helps the student with the selection process. Individuals not matched with a student in 2023 will be kept on file for future years.
Applications Are Open for This Multi-Year Program
LAF is now accepting applications from students for the second cohort of LAF Ignite, which begins in Jan 2024. Ignite is a multi-year program with three core components: an annual scholarship, annual summer internship, and ongoing mentorship. Mentorship begins winter 2024, and the first summer internship takes place Jun-Aug 2024. Applications are due Aug 15.
Ignite 2023 Application Cycle Timeline
May - Call for applications announced
Aug 15 - Application deadline
Sep - Jury process
Sep/Oct - Shortlisted candidate interviews
Oct/Nov - Winners announced
Congratulations to the first participants!
Four outstanding students have been selected for the inaugural cohort of the new LAF Ignite program, which got underway in January 2023. Ignite is a multi-year program with three core components: an annual scholarship, summer internships, and ongoing mentorship. We look forward to working with these students!
- Naomi Canino, MLA Candidate, Rhode Island School of Design
- Ezra Lewis, BLA Candidate, University of Georgia
- Shantol Morgan, BLA Candidate, University of Washington
- Charlye Stewart, MLA Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
LAF also recognized five finalists who stood out during the Ignite selection process: Isiah Dashiell, Maurice Gaston, Kareem Harris, Carington Light, and Amira Slocum
LAF’s New Multi-Year Program for BIPOC students
Many barriers to becoming a landscape architect occur during the period between entering college and entering the workforce, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) students who may not see themselves or their lived experience reflected in their faculty, employers, and peers.
LAF Ignite was developed to support students through this important stage and help them overcome prevalent barriers so that we can make the discipline of landscape architecture as diverse as the communities in which landscape architects work.
The inaugural cohort of LAF Ignite got underway in January 2023. Check back for information about the timeline and application process for the second cohort.
Ready to ignite your journey to becoming a landscape architect?
LAF Ignite is a comprehensive Scholarship + Internships + Mentorship program for BIPOC* college students, providing participants with an annual $10,000 scholarship, annual paid summer internship, and access to mentors throughout their educational path.
Each year, 3-5 students are accepted into Ignite and participate until they have completed their landscape architecture degree. Every new cohort joins the group from past years for facilitated virtual meetings and peer-to-peer mentorship. Participants are matched with a one-on-one mentor and use paid summer internships to explore different career paths within landscape architecture.
*For the 2023 application year (cohort beginning in 2024), eligible candidates must identify as Black/African American. This will be broadened in future years.
We live in a world that is inequitable by design. And through design we can begin to change it. Ignite represents a focused effort by LAF — and the many individuals, firms, organizations, and partners who have invested in the program — to make the discipline of landscape architecture as diverse as the communities in which landscape architects work.
Many barriers to becoming a landscape architect occur during the period between entering college and entering the workforce, particularly for BIPOC students who may not see themselves or their lived experience reflected in their faculty, employers, and peers. Ignite was developed to support BIPOC students through this important stage and help them overcome prevalent barriers by providing:
- reliable and meaningful funding, so they can stay in and focus on school
- access to mentors, so they have a guide and support network
- paid internships, so they get real life (paid) experience and exposure to a variety of ways to practice
By investing in these deserving students, we can grow and change the field of landscape architecture and infuse it with new energy and ideas to create a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable future.
Expanding Over Time
The LAF Ignite program has been several years in the making with input from many different groups to ensure it responds to identified gaps and needs. In the long term, the program will be open to all students of color, however, for the first 2-3 years, it will focus on Black/African American students, recognizing the disproportionate oppression and disinvestment Black/African Americans have experienced and continue to experience, upheld by systemic racism that is embedded in all aspects of society.
Starting with this more targeted group has allowed LAF to build the program with Black/African American partners, more effectively understand and address the specific barriers experienced by Black/African American students, and create an experience and network of support that will more strategically focus on the identified needs and opportunities.
As the program builds and is opened to other students of color in future years, LAF will continue this process by seeking out partners and landscape architects from specific racial/ethnic groups to more fully understand and address the particular barriers and provide focused opportunities for each community.