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Elvira Alonso Soto Hispanic Women in Architecture Scholarship

Funded by
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1 winner$10,075
Application Deadline
Apr 27, 2023
Winners Announced
May 28, 2023
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

Elvira Alonso Soto was a beloved mother and grandmother who immigrated from Cuba to the United States in 1963. During her academic years, Elvira studied Architecture at the University of Havana as well as abroad at the University of Chicago. Bringing innovation and unique techiques to her role, Elvira was well known and respected as the only female to lead the ground architecture and land surveying of several acclaimed sites across Cuba. While her love of Cuba was evident in her distinguished work, it was her political views that would eventually lead her to leave her homeland for a better life in America.  

Elvira's passion for life included her family and the art of creating spaces that are functional and visually appealing. She leaves behind a legacy that allows people to enjoy the beauty of the spaces she's designed and to create their own story of its meaning. This scholarship seeks to honor the memory of Elvira Alonso Soto by supporting Hispanic women who are following in her footsteps and studying the art of architecture. 

Any female Hispanic student who is a high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate studying architecture may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us what being a Latina in architecture means to you and how you plan to make a difference through your career.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published November 28, 2022
Essay Topic

What does being a Latina in architecture mean to you? How do you plan on making a difference through your career?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jasmine Rodriguez Romero
University of Nevada-Las VegasLas Vegas, NV
I am very proud of being a first-generation Latina in my family while pursuing a career in architecture, considering that only a few Latinas are in the construction industry. I attended Northwest Career and Technical Academy, in the engineering & design program area, where I learned how to use Inventor, AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Revit. We created residential floor plans, developed a community center and a doctor's office, and made smaller items like themed chess pieces. For our final senior project, I worked with my friend in the Hospitality program, and we needed help finding an issue that would complement our programs. Las Vegas only has one somewhat family-friendly casino; considering the rest are for those 21 and older, we decided to make a resort explicitly designed for families to enjoy. We called it "Wonderland Palace Resort," with only four months of experience, I created something incredible that I am still very proud of. At that moment, I was confident that architecture was my calling, so I applied to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and declared my major in architecture. When I was younger, I lived in the North Las Vegas area, where my parents struggled financially, but I am grateful they were able to give me a roof over my head. I took swimming lessons at my local community center and noticed how old it looked. The church my family attended was also small, and its foundation was old compared to the ones in the wealthier areas. They do not compare to the churches in Mexico and Europe, which are beautiful, and their architecture appeals to me. Both are a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic architecture, and I intend to implicate them in my future designs. North Las Vegas is known for being older and housing many low-income families compared to other communities, and I want to change people's ideology about the area. One of my goals as an architect is to work with foundations, like Habitat for Humanity, to help low-income areas renovate their public buildings, like churches or community centers that struggle with funding. I want to have the opportunity to renovate a church here in Las Vegas and use churches like the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Mary in Guadalajara or St.Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary, as an inspiration. Architecture is being influenced by everything around you, like the variety of cultures or the surrounding environment, and expressing them in your designs, uniting people of diverse backgrounds. We learn more about other people's cultures through the art and design of the buildings around us. However, every person may interpret the design differently compared to what the architect had in mind. Architecture is like expressive art because we reflect how we distinguish ourselves and society through designs and ideas. I desire to be more than just another female architect, but one who makes a difference in the community I was raised in, not forgetting my cultural background. It will be challenging, but it will be worth it once I accomplish the long-term goals I have set for myself. My parents have supported me throughout my education; they motivate me to continue and to use my talents for something positive while also helping others. They taught me to be a humble, kind, and respectful Latina who should never be ashamed of who I am. I could not be more proud of all the accomplishments that have led me to where I am now, and I intend to continue to make my parents proud as a soon-to-be Latina architect.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 27, 2023. Winners will be announced on May 28, 2023.

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