HighGrove Partners is pleased to award its 2013 HighGrove Partners Scholarship to Jack LeCroy, an Auburn University student in Auburn, Alabama.
LeCroy, who is working on his master’s of science degree in horticulture, graduates this August. “I have seen the involvement of HighGrove with Student Career Days and how they strive to help students; I have also seen how they are helping to make our green industry stronger,” he says. “Receiving this scholarship from such a reputable landscape company is a great honor. This scholarship will help with continuing my education in an industry that I am very passionate about.”
The HighGrove Partners Scholarship, in its second year, is offered through the Professional Landcare Network’s Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF), funded by PLANET member companies.
The foundation was formed to promote and advance the lawn care and landscape services industry by supporting academic excellence. It awards annual scholarships to students enrolled in landscape contracting and/or horticulture programs at two-year or four-year colleges and universities with a PLANET-accredited curriculum or a PLANET student chapter member.
Since its inception in 1998, PLANET AEF has awarded $730,000 in scholarships to 720 students.
Annual scholarships are typically awarded at PLANET’s annual Student Career Days, a three-day competitive event and career fair for students enrolled at horticulture programs from colleges and universities across the country. The 2013 event took place in March at Auburn University.
This is LeCroy’s sixth year attending the event, participating in various roles as a competitor, graduate student, and host school planning committee member. He was proud to have the event happen at his university this year. “I feel very blessed with the education I have received at Auburn because most, if not all, of my professors, has worked in the green industry before coming to teach,” he says. “That real-world teaching, I feel, is very crucial in strengthening every aspect of the green industry.”
HighGrove CEO Jim McCutcheon, president of PLANET AEF, is passionate about building future industry leaders through Student Career Days and the HighGrove Partners Scholarship. “I want to make sure we support building a strong workforce for the industry,” he says. “I like to give back and help grow these leaders.”
LeCroy, looking forward to an internship after graduation that will help him obtain his Public Garden Certificate, has a bright future. Five years post-graduation, he sees himself gaining knowledge in the industry that he hopes to pass on to others. “Landscaping and beautifying outdoor spaces is a passion I have because you have to think about your impact on people as well as the environment; you also have to consider what impact the site will have in the future as the area matures,” he says. “I love this aspect of the green industry. I am hoping for a career that will let me make these decisions that will affect people and our industry in a positive way.”