Attleboro, Mass.--The MJSA Education Foundation has awarded scholarships to five students totaling $12,500.

This includes a $2,500 scholarship provided by the Providence Jewelers Club Foundation for the first time, which benefits students enrolled in an eligible Rhode Island program.

The following five students received scholarships.

Rebecca Richards ($5,000) is studying for a bachelor of fine arts degree in jewelry/metalsmithing at Maine College of Art in Portland. She makes her jewelry from a variety of materials like yarn, brass and mother-of-pearl, drawing inspiration from historical styles to various flora and fauna. Richards expects to graduate in spring 2020.

Emily Fout ($2,000) is pursuing a Graduate Gemologist diploma at the Gemological Institute of America campus in Carlsbad, California. Fout also currently runs her own company, Fizzy Love Jewelry, which includes designs that showcase gemstones and beads. Fout hopes to enhance her artistic expression further through her GIA classes, where she expects to graduate in May 2018. After that she wants to begin the institute’s Graduate Jeweler program.

Jaclyn Bush ($1,500) also is working toward a Graduate Gemologist diploma at the Gemological Institute of America campus in Carlsbad, California. Bush has experience working full time in the repair shop at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Houston, assisting Designer Jewelers, an independent retailer also in Houston, and doing custom jewelry work for her own small business. She is scheduled to graduate in April 2019.

Katelyn Butler ($1,500) is working toward her Masters of Fine Arts degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which she entered after completing undergraduate studies emphasizing technical mastery of materials. Over the past six years, she has appeared in more than 24 curated or juried exhibitions and has won six juror’s awards. Butler is scheduled to graduate in 2020, after which she plans to pursue careers as both a jewelry maker and a teacher.

Valerie James ($2,500 through the PJCF) is pursuing a Graduate Jeweler diploma in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. After receiving a bachelor’s degree at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, she entered the program at RISD to refine her knowledge of traditional jewelry-making techniques and 3-D modeling. A 2017 Saul Bell Design Award finalist in the Emerging Jewelry Artist category, James expects to graduate in May 2019.

The MJSA Education Foundation develops and supports programs that help ensure the jewelry industry maintains a qualified, competitive workforce. To date, it has given over $200,000 in scholarship funding since 1997.

Any student enrolled in a jewelry program, whether through a university or trade school, who intends to pursue a career in the jewelry industry, and who can demonstrate financial need, is eligible to apply for an MJSA Education Foundation scholarship.

Applicants are assessed on the basis of course of study, academics, career plans, recommendations, and industry experience. Students must be U.S. citizens.

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