PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It’s no secret that Port St. Lucie’s growth is booming, and builders are going to have a lot of work ahead of them in coming years.
One of the Treasure Coast’s largest builders, GL Homes, has created a scholarship to help more teens get into the industry.
Monday, GL Homes have its inaugural $5,000 engineering college scholarship to Justus Jones. Jones will be a high school senior in the fall.
“Justus is our inspiration for the scholarship. We believe so strongly in what he’s doing and the young man that he’s going to become that Justus is the first person to receive the scholarship,” said Sarah Alsofrom, Community Relations Director for GL Homes.
In 2019, GL Homes took Jones under its wing to help inspire him to pursue engineering fields in the construction and home building industry.
GL Homes has a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of St. Lucie County. When the Boys and Girls Club knew Jones had an interest in engineering, they reached out to GL Homes on his behalf to give him mentorship.
“We took Justus under our wing a couple of years ago, showed him around GL Homes, everything from engineering, to sales, to construction, hoping that he will be a future employee at GL Homes,” Alsofrom said.
“This entire experience has pointed me in a new direction and I’m very grateful for that,” Jones said.
Monday, GL Homes gave him a tour of the Riverland project and property in Port St. Lucie.
Riverland will ultimately include more than 11,000 homes on 4,000 acres of property.
Jones was shown the full process, from the first stages of “moving earth,” preparing drainage systems, to construction and home design, to the final touches of modern clubhouses, on-property restaurants, pickle ball courts, swimming pools, and additional amenities that appeal to the 55+ residents.
After the tour, he was surprised with the scholarship announcement.
“I had no idea. It was an extreme loss of words... it really means so much to me,” Jones said.
Alsofrom said GL Homes knows the demand for more engineers in the industry is only bound to keep booming.
"We need young people to get into the engineering field. It’s so important to have fresh new blood come into any industry, particularly home building….and we hope that there are going to be many more promising young people through the boys and girls club, through that partnership, to come.”