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The Wilsonart Student Essay Competition awards IIDA Student members that participate in the IIDA Student Mentorship program. Student participants gain invaluable professional development and mentorship from professionals in the interior design industry.

The Wilsonart Student Education Fund created this scholarship to offer students the opportunity and incentive to further reflect on the value of their experience. One winner of the competition receives $1,000 courtesy of the Wilsonart Student Education Fund, will be recognized on IIDA.org, and Wilsonart will also provide the winner with roundtrip airfare and a two-night hotel stay in Chicago during NeoCon.


IIDA Students that participate in the IIDA Student Mentoring program are encouraged to apply.


Submissions Open: March 2025

For questions or more information, contact the IIDA Foundation at foundation@iida.org.

2024 Wilsonart Student Essay Winner

Scott Ware, Student IIDA
Dakota County Technical College, Minnesota

In his essay titled, "The Lighthouse: How Mentorship Helped Me Navigate New Beginnings," Ware writes about navigating a new career as a non-traditional student, while facing personal loss—an experience that he says proved to be priceless, invaluable, and unparalleled. Read the essay here

2023 Wilsonart Student Essay Winner

Emily Roberts, Student IIDA
Ensign College

Roberts' winning essay titled, "Stories of Service, Sustainability, and Support" encapsulates her 2023 IIDA Student Mentoring program experience with Dannon Rampton of VCBO Architecture. Read the essay here

2022 Wilsonart Student Essay Winner

Sally Birkett Seston, Student IIDA, ASID
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

Sally Birkett Seston, Student IIDA, participated in the 2022 Student Mentoring Program with Kaylen Parker, designer at Studio O+A. Read her winning essay here.

2021 Wilsonart Student Essay Winner

Jonny Bywater, Student IIDA
City College of San Francisco

Jonny Bywater, Student IIDA participated in the 2021 Student Mentoring Program with Rachel Maloney, IIDA, Design Director at IDEO who provided a mentorship experience based on Human-Centered Design. Read the winning essay here

2020 Wilsonart Student Essay Winner

Yvonne Yip, Student IIDA
UC Berkeley Extension

Yvonne Yip, Student IIDA participated in the 2020 Student Mentoring Program with Lorraine Rowan, NCIDQ at Taylor Design in San Francisco. Read her winning essay here.

Learn more about the IIDA Student Mentoring program here