May 25, 2021 | Press Releases

WithIt Scholarship Foundation Awards $32,000 in Student Scholarships


Andreina Pereira Nunez receives Jena and Stephen Hall Scholarship

High Point, N.C. — WithIt’s the women’s leadership development network for the home and furnishings industries, announces that fourteen scholarships will be awarded this year to young women from six universities and one continuing education scholarship. This year’s class of applicants had majors in industrial design, interior design, furniture design, architecture, business and supply chain and logistics.

Along with a tuition scholarship, the students were able to attend WithIt’s virtual conference which took place in May. Conference participation affords students the opportunity to meet and network with women from the industry while building upon skills they can use in their pursuit of a career within the industry.

Andreina Pereira Nunez, scored a perfect score on her application and was awarded the Jena and Stephen Hall Scholarship. Pereira Nunez is an industrial design student at the University of Houston who cites sustainability as one of her core values. “One of my goals is to design making a positive impact and educate our society to ensure a sustainable future by providing information that could change people’s values and behaviors,” says Pereira Nunez. The judges were impressed by her design of a chair made of corrugated cardboard which could support more than 250 pounds, was flat packable, used minimal material and had an attractive design.

“The scholarship committee was thrilled to read through the applications of such amazing applicants. Each woman was deserving of their award and so much more. The furniture industry is truly on the brink of gaining some knowledgeable, hardworking and innovative professionals,” commented Paris Gholston, WithIt’s vice president of Scholarship and Industry Communications Specialist for the Mattress Recycling Council.

The 2021 recipients are: Erin Bankert, Interior Architecture, Marywood University; Akanksha Bhatia, Industrial Design, University of Houston; LaRay Byrd, Architecture, Academy of Art University; Maia Clasby, Interior Architecture, Marywood University; Shelby Cleland, Interior Design, Florida State University; Pooja Desai, Architecture, University of Houston; Kimberly Johnson, Interior Architecture, Marywood University; Montana Kirby, BSBA Management, Appalachian State University; Elaine Mansure, Industrial Design – Furniture Concentration, Appalachian State University; Kaylor Mead, Interior Design, Appalachian State University; Andreina Pereira Nunez, Industrial Design, University of Houston; Emma Reamer, Furniture Design, Appalachian State University; Abigail Ritch, MBA – Supply Chain & Logistics. The students received awards in varying amounts.

Brianna Jackson, Marketing Director of Retail Strategy at AMERIWOOD HOME received a continuing education scholarship towards her master’s degree.

To date, WithIt’s foundation has awarded over $187,000 in tuition scholarships to qualified young women and men in universities across the U.S. who are pursuing majors that impact the home and furnishings industries. This year’s donations totaling $32,000 from the Heritage Home Group’s Charitable Trust and Twin Star Home were used to fund the scholarships.


WithIt was formed in 1997 for women in the home and furnishings industries in order to support their multi-dimensional career paths. The non-profit network is based in North Carolina and supported by leading companies across the industry including their Vision and Platinum sponsors: International Market Centers and Stressless. WithIt’s purpose is to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries.


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