UCF’s Renee Mack Named 2023 Andre Anderson Minority Scholarship Recipient
Meet Renee Mack
APA Florida is excited to announce Renee Mack as the recipient of the 2023 Andre Anderson Minority Scholarship. Currently, Renee is pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Central Florida (UCF) having already earned a Master of Public Administration. Renee’s dedication, passion, and commitment to making a positive impact in her community made her the top candidate.
The scholarship is named after Andre Anderson, APA Florida’s first Black president.
Renee’s journey into the field of urban planning began during a transformative experience while volunteering at a local hospital. Looking out from the hospital’s top floor, she was moved by the striking contrast between the thriving downtown area and the disadvantaged neighborhoods nearby. This revelation inspired her to become an agent of change for communities in need.
Reflecting on her passion for urban planning, Renee shared, “I want to help foster trust between community and government, which means that I will engage daily in that community. I will live in that community, not commute forty-five minutes away. I believe that it will help me become the kind of planner who makes the changes that people have been begging for. Not only for them, but for me as well.”
Renee’s internship experience with Orange County Government’s Planning Division has further enriched her understanding of planning processes and prepared her for her upcoming Master of Urban and Regional Planning at UCF. Her dedication to fostering inclusivity and celebrating diversity shines through as she expressed, “The world is populated with people of every race, creed, sexuality, gender, and perspective. I want voices like mine to not only be heard but taken seriously and celebrated. I want girls who look and think like me to be able to see a path for themselves in the field, should they choose it. I want to be their trailblazer and forge a way forward for them — for us — where highways never ran.”
Renee’s outstanding achievements, unwavering commitment, and the potential she possesses will have a meaningful impact in the field of urban planning. With her passion for creating positive change and her dedication to empowering underrepresented voices, Renee’s journey inspires us all to envision a more equitable and inclusive future.