Fairfax Woman magazine recently teamed up with Marymount University to provide a $2,500 scholarship to a student enrolled at the University’s Reston Center, who has demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of women in northern Virginia.
In her winning essay, Bonnie Ammon ’12, an Interior Design major, states, “Three years ago, I was inspired by a woman who encouraged and guided me through the process of going back to school. Since that moment, I have strived to pay it forward by encouraging and supporting women like myself – mothers, wives, women pursuing a second-career, and nontraditional-age college women.”
Ammon, who says that she always had a passion and knack for design, completed her associate degree in Interior Design at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). While there, she served as president of the American Society of Interior Designer’s (ASID) NOVA student chapter and grew the membership from 15 to 50 in less than a year. Ammon brought in industry professionals as guest speakers to address such topics as career development, résumé building, and portfolio design.
Now pursuing her B.A. in Interior Design at Marymount University’s Reston Center, Ammon has continued to serve as a leader in her chosen profession. She is now serving her second year as student representative to the Board (SRB) of ASID’s Washington Metro Chapter and leads meetings and workshops at eight regional higher education institutions with interior design programs, including Marymount, NOVA, the Art Institute, and Westwood College, which are in northern Virginia. Ammon says, “It has been a humbling and rewarding experience to help women from all walks of life reach their educational and career goals.”
In addition, Ammon raises funds annually for Transitional Housing Barn, Inc
., which provides temporary housing and supportive services for Virginia women in need and their children.
Ammon recently interned at Sroka Design in Bethesda, Maryland, where she worked on residential spaces, and she looks forward to an initial interior design career in residential and hospitality markets. She describes her design aesthetic as “transitional – a cross between contemporary and traditional.” Ultimately, Ammon says, “I want to do interior design for the spirit – what I call design therapy! Living spaces, whether in a home or hospital, should support and nurture people.”
After graduation, Ammon also plans to work with young people at local high schools, encouraging more young women to pursue their dreams of college and career. She points out, “It’s critical for every young girl to be given the opportunity to become the best woman she can be. My contribution is a simple formula: Get involved, stay involved, and lead by example.”