5 September 2018
Recently, we announced the winner of our inaugural scholarship programme, Stephanie Swan. Now, we thought you might like to get to know a little more about her, and what makes her so special.
We launched the scholarship to celebrate our first anniversary – a fitting way to bring our packed year to a close. Over the last twelve months, we have tried to push the boundaries of floristry, expanding our creative vision through innovation, inspiration, and experimentation. And, much more importantly, we have tried to encourage our students to do the same.
We had a very clear way in which we wanted to finish our first year: by giving someone who may not have had the opportunity to train with us otherwise a comprehensive education in the art of floristry. The requirements were simple: tell us a story about a single act of kindness you performed.
Stephanie was born in Edinburgh, but moved to the Middle East as a flight attendant at 23. Living so close to the Palestinian and Israeli combat zones inspired her to learn more about the complicated political situation in the area, and the humanitarian crisis it has caused.
It was a friend who first mentioned the Hope Flowers School to Stephanie – a special needs and trauma recovery education centre based in Bethlehem that has aided countless young refugees and children that have been disadvantaged by conflict. The school was in dire need of funds to build a special needs therapy unit, and Stephanie and her friends were eager to help. Together, they decided to undertake an incredible challenge: to trek through the West Bank terrain, from Jenin in the North to Bethlehem, and then on to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Stephanie and her friends were able to raise £26,000 for the School.
The Hope Flowers School tries, where it can, to open up dialogue between children from both communities. To see the other side as human is extremely important and The Hope Flowers School endeavors to facilitate this among the next generation.—Stephanie Swan
Stephanie talks about the scholarship and her experience at LFS.
Stephanie has no doubts about what she would like to do in the future: start her own floristry business – perhaps in conjunction with a friend she made on the Career Course.
She says that the teaching on the course resonated with her - having the space to be creative, rather than having to learn traditional techniques by rote, suited her tastes and personality, and helped her gain confidence quickly.
As teachers, few things make us happier than having a positive impact in a student’s life, so we were particularly pleased to hear how the Career Course had given Stephanie the new start she was looking for: 'With a little patience and some practice, I am very excited that this is the start of something that will make me happy and that I can be proud of.'