Amalbert, Chen, and Thompson are 2020 Minority Scholarship Recipients

APA Florida is elated to award scholarships this year to three remarkable, up-and-coming planners. Jady Chen, Kailon Thompson, and Karina Amalbert are the recipients of the 2020 APA Florida Minority Scholarships. The awards for each are as follows: Kailon received $2,000, Jady received $1,500, and Karina received $1,000 to apply toward education expenses.

Let’s meet these intriguing students: 

Jady Chen

Jady, a first-generation college student, is now a first-year graduate student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Central Florida. Preceding her journey to graduate school, Jady received her Bachelor of Science with honors in Environmental Studies focusing on Communication and Planning from the University of Central Florida.

While working toward a career in Sustainable Planning and Design, Jady was recently awarded Second Place Winner for the Green Space Master Planning Design – The Star Garden through the UCF Sustainability Initiatives. Her passion and dedication to propelling sustainable strategies and solutions for environmental and design planning efforts is evident through her work with the City of Orlando and the UCF Campus Innovation Council.

Presently, she is working for the City of Orlando conducting feasibility assessments for city projects and analyzing building flow automation. Additionally, Jady sits as the Executive Vice Chair of Sustainability for the UCF Campus Innovation Council, where she conducts research informing short and long-term planning decisions and grant writing for the program.

Kailon Thompson

Kailon, also a first-generation college student, is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University where she previously received a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs with a focus in Social Work.

Currently, Kailon is specializing in Neighborhood Planning and Urban Design and Planning for Developing Areas with the goal of bringing a multicultural perspective while advocating and planning for minority communities. Her interests especially lie in the promotion of economic development and entrepreneurship in minority communities in order to ensure equitable growth and sustainability.

In efforts to achieve her goals of becoming a neighborhood planner and community liaison for marginalized communities, Kailon has been working with the Frenchtown Community in Tallahassee as a Student Consultant. Her work includes developing marketing and entrepreneurship strategies to unite the community and open access to healthy and sustainable food. Additionally, she works as a Graduate Associate for the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency, researching and assessing the redevelopment goals for the Greater Frenchtown/Southside Area.

Karina Amalbert

Karina is also a first-generation college student and recent graduate of Florida State University. In Spring 2020, she received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. Presently, she is working towards a Master of Science in Planning specializing in International Emergency Planning and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

In addition to Karina’s graduate studies, she works as a Research Assistant for the FSU Department of Urban and Regional Planning collecting and analyzing data for projects conducted in the Mark and Marianne Barnebey Planning and Development Lab. The scope of the projects she has collaborated on include resiliency indices and plans for the FDOT and multi-modal mobility alternatives in North Florida.

Karina’s passion and interests in International Emergency Planning stems from her strong Latin heritage and the many stories told by her Abuela of the resilience exemplified by Latin communities in Puerto Rico during times of natural disaster. She hopes to commit her work succeeding graduation to pursuing a Ph.D. in order to best serve LatinX communities in disaster mitigation and recovery.

Congratulations to Jady, Kailon, and Karina!

Meet the Past Minority Scholarship Winners

Adriana Silva and Melanie Flores were the recipients of the 2019 APA Florida Minority Scholarships. Meet these two exceptional future planning leaders.