Meet the 2019 AHBA Scholarship Winners

The Asheville Home Builders Association is proud to award scholarships to students who are currently attending a college or technical school and high school seniors preparing to study a construction related field. Applications were accepted during February – April and then reviewed by the Scholarship Review Committee. This year’s Scholarship Recipients were honored at the AHBA After Hours at Jennings Builders Supply and Hardware on Thursday, June 20. Learn more about this year’s scholarship recipients and our future workforce below: 


Matthew Bryan

Attending: North Carolina State University
Studying: Architecture
Scholarship Award: $300

“I understand my role as a prospective architect to be one of constant self-evaluation: Does this house reflect the values of those who dwell in it? On a greater scale, I must question how effective contemporary housing is at responding to a set of rapidly evolving priorities, not the least of which are sustainability and affordability. My most essential goal as an architect is to develop a language of building that is responsive to these priorities first, and that begins to shape the built environment in a manner consistent with who we wish to be as people.”

Noah Ellis

Attending: Western Carolina University
Studying: Construction Management
Scholarship Award: $500

“As a high school student, I became fascinated with the way things are built through my love for Carpentry. I would figure out how something worked or was put together. Throughout my years at high school, I built several shelving units and replaced tiles for a drop ceiling. All this experimenting in the way things are built has inspired me to pursue a career in Construction Management to further my understanding of how things work and to receive quality education.” 

Marc Judd

Attending: AB Tech
Studying: Construction Management
Scholarship Award: $500

“I have chosen Construction Management as my field of study in college. The knowledge and the skills I will gain through this program will help me as I begin my career in home building and construction. I intend to gain a few years of experience and to eventually create and manage my own business.”

Levi Caldwell

Attending: University of North Carolina – Charlotte
Studying: Architecture
Scholarship Award: $400

“Architecture contributes to the home building industry in a vital way. Strong foundations and structural skeletons have been mathematically developed and plotted. There’s a reason why home builders don’t just drive onto the site, excavate, then build without a plan. It would never work. The architect develops that plan, then passes it on to the home builder so that they have a starting point.”

Kat McReynolds

Attending: AB Tech
Studying: Construction Management
Scholarship Award: $1000

“The construction industry is becoming more complex, driven by advances in technology, increasingly sophisticated home buyers, labor shortages, greening initiatives and more. As costs and buyer expectations continue to rise, the industry will need leaders who can thrive in this changing landscape. The ideal candidate will balance the interests of different parties, conduct business in a lean way and, perhaps most importantly, prioritize the changing values of a new generation of home buyers.”

Zach Whisenant

Attending: Western Carolina University
Studying: Construction Management
Scholarship Award: $300

“The construction management degree path does a thorough job of educating students on not only how to build something, but also the economics and design of the building as well. The classes that comprise a construction management degree include architecture, engineering, business management and construction specific themes. This year, I have taken classes that have enhanced my knowledge of construction materials, the estimating process, and software programs such as Revit and Bluebeam. WCU’s program also has a big focus on leading the way in energy efficiency and environmental design, a trend that new homes in Western NC are going towards.”

Want to get more involved in the Workforce Development Committee? We typically meet on the fourth Thursday of the month. Send us an email or get involved with any of our other 4 committees. We will be working on ideas to fund-raise for our new AHBA Education Foundation over the next year that will contribute to more scholarship award capability.  

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