Back in August, Women in Design joined Habitat for Humanity in the Women’s Build Week for 2015. We offered local Colorado students a $250 scholarship opportunity to join the team by competing in an essay contest. We now want to share those winning essays with you. We are proud to have these amazing, fantastic, creative, talented women living among us in Colorado and as a part of WiD.
Essay Winner #2
Essay Topic: If you could not fail – How would you use your design passion and skills to help make the world a better place?
I will make the world a better place by figuring out a way to retrofit existing urban structures with passive solar design, greywater recycling, and on site food production.
My name is Paula Tootle and I am in my third year at the Art Institute of Colorado earning my BA in Interior Design. I am an Air Force brat and now a retired military spouse. I am 53 years old and am embarking a new career. Design has always been a part of my life. I am thankful to my husband for transferring his Post 911 GI Bill benefits to me so I could follow my passion.
If I could not fail, my passion and skills would be aimed at helping our deserving veterans. Our veterans have offered of themselves to give me and others as well the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Like Habitat for Humanity, I would like to partner with great organizations like Wounded Warrior and Homes for Heroes. However, with my interior design degree, I have been focusing on pursuing residential design. My belief is that our veterans need a space that they can call home no matter what their injuries may be. These injuries can be physical or mental or even both therefore designing a space that addresses their needs is where I would love to use my knowledge and creativity. Of course, I will be working with the general public but my focus will be on veterans as well as active duty military.
As a student nearing graduation, we are to present a grad project. My project is intended to revitalize the VFW. I am designing a community center that is geared toward our younger veterans without leaving out our aging veterans. This is a huge need because of veterans of WWII, Korean and Viet Nam are aging and leaving us. Our younger veterans need a place to call their own, which offers a place to bond with their comrades as well as a place offering resources to help with issues or concerns they may have.
In conclusion, I am focused on helping our veterans using my degree and passion for interior design. I believe they are our future and they need to honored. They deserve a space that they can call home.
Author: Paula Tootle
Field of Study: Interior Design at the Art Institute of Colorado