On May 9, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach awarded the Deborah Snyder Scholarship to Francisco Sarmiento, a senior at Wellington High School who will begin attending the University of Florida this summer to study architectural design.
The scholarship is named in honor of longtime foundation trustee Scott Snyder’s sister who passed away in 2010. Open to high school seniors who wish to pursue a collegiate course of study in architectural design, interior design or landscape design, the scholarship provides a financial award of $5,000 to one recipient each year.
“I want to create the future of living because from my viewpoint, buildings may not be fragile at the time, but erosion and degradation will take their toll,” Sarmiento said. “We have to fix that problem.”
Originally from Columbia, Sarmiento has long had an interest in architecture. “What inspired me to study architectural design was my environment,” he said. “A building just like a statue can represent so many things such as strength, freedom, humanity — anything you want it to. Personally, I think this power of creation and symbolism one achieves through creation of such an item is incredible, and this is what inspired me to pursue architectural design.”
Sarmiento is ranked 14 out of 551 students in his class. He is strongly involved in community service projects, in particular volunteering at Palms West Hospital and the Kids Cancer Foundation.
This is the third annual Snyder scholarship that has been awarded, and this year saw nearly four times as many applicants as before.
In addition to the scholarship, Snyder gave Sarmiento several books, including Palm Beach: An Architectural Legacy and Landmark Architecture of Palm Beach, and offered him an internship at his Palm Beach office.
ABOVE: Scott Snyder and Francisco Sarmiento.