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Our 2022 Scholarship Winners

Proven Winners® Grower Excellence Scholarship Winner
(Scholarships for $5,000)

Parker Dearing
Monroe, NC

I would like to start a wholesale nursery that grows plants for my own retail locations. For the retail locations, I would like to open up different locations in major cities that take older colonial homes, remodel them, build Victorian-style greenhouses and use these specialty locations to sell the plants grown in the nursery. This is where the concept of revitalization is applied. The younger generation likes to do things based on the “vibe” it has. So, if my company could create this old-world “vibe” while combining it with high-quality advanced plant products, I believe it would draw in customers from younger generations and give new birth to the horticulture industry.

Proven Winners® Innovations in Horticultural Marketing Scholarship Winner
(Scholarship for $5,000)

Virginia McChesney
Huntington, IN 

There is no greater joy for me than being able to brighten a home, office, or school with a pleasing spot of foliage and flowers. As I enter the horticultural field, I hope to create an area for specialty and ornamental growers to successfully market their products, in addition to offering my own high quality unique products to my community.

Proven Winners® Innovations in Plant Breeding Scholarship Winner
(Scholarship for $5,000)

John Nix
Raleigh, NC

I want to be in a role where I can exchange and collect useful germplasm to feed into an ornamental plant breeding program where I am a breeder on the ground. Identifying the potential in less cultivated plants and putting that to use in a way that has real impact for the industry is so satisfying. I love my time in the lab, greenhouse, nursery, field, and connecting with others in the field. A holistic career in plant improvement is what I want and I’ll put forth my best to better plants on the market for everyone.

Proven Winners® Technical or 2-Year Post-Secondary Institution Scholarships
(Five scholarships for $2,000 each)

Many horticulture students begin their post-secondary schooling at 2-year or vocational technology schools as a way to enter the work force sooner. Since horticulture tends to be a very hands-on career with much knowledge gained through work experience, this is an excellent way to break into the industry. We are proud to support five exemplary students who have chosen this route for their schooling and wish them the best of success for the future.

Kyle Kutinsky - $2,000
Kent, Ohio
Cuyahoga Community College

In a time when the world needs more members of the Green Industry, I am excited to help young adults transition into a career where they can thrive and blossom just as I did. I am currently in my second year at Cuyahoga Community College and will graduate in Spring 2023 with an Associates of Applied Science in Plant Science.

Brynja Paetkau - $2,000
Vancouver BC

I want to inspire my fellow humans of our planet to consider their landscape choices from a different angle. We should not purely choose plants for only their aesthetics but for their ecological value, too. I want to show people that you can have both an aesthetically pleasing and ecologically contributing plant. We can capture carbon, support local ecosystem, and support pollinators if we pick the right plants

Nathan Bushey - $2,000
Indianapolis, IN

Horticulture being Nathan’s second career path has given him much interest in all phases of horticulture. He if fond of working with perennials, both native and garden introduced. He has a keen eye for design and has a working knowledge of trees, shrubs, vines, and annuals, but will be the first to tell you he has moderate knowledge and wishes to gain more.


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