Groom Construction Awards First DEI Scholarship

(l-r) Marvelous Akande; Dwight Groom; and Ericka Pasersky, senior VP, construction management, at Groom Construction

Salem, MA – Groom Construction Co., Inc recently awarded its first Annual Diversity Equity & Inclusion Scholarship to Marvelous Akande, a Lynn English High School student.

Groom instituted the annual scholarship program for historically underrepresented demographics, as well as students entering the construction management field through an academic track.

Born in Nigeria, Akande says she fell in love with art and architecture at an early age after taking a technical drawing class at her boarding school. At this time, her father worked in the U.S. and her brothers lived with family. Her father eventually moved Akande and her family to the U.S., three days before she started high school.

Akande plans to take a gap year to serve in the National Guard while training as a carpentry and masonry specialist. Having been accepted to several colleges, she has chosen to attend The University of Massachusetts Amherst Honors College where she will study architecture. Akande currently has an internship at HGA Architects through the Career Paths Programs at Girls Inc.

Akande states her role model is Lix Ogbu, a socially conscious architect who addresses spatial/racial justice in her community centered work. Akande said, “Architecture is a vehicle to promote cultural awareness. I will work hard to be a mentor and role model for others someday.”

“Groom Construction is pleased to award this scholarship to such an exceptional young person who is destined to make a mark on this world,” said Dwight Groom, principal at Groom Construction.

“Marvelous is one of the most amazing young people I have ever met. She is very self-aware, intelligent, as well as a hard-worker,” said Kathleen Cormier, college mentor at Girls Inc. of Lynn.  “She has been very active in programs at Girls Inc. and has taken several leadership roles, including serving as a peer leader in the Beach Sisters Program, where she mentors middle school students in a collaborative marine science-based curriculum.”