DD: Tell us about your relationship with DASH, how long you’ve been part of the school community, and what work you are involved with beyond the school.
FG: I am an alumna of DASH, part of the first full graduating class. My relationship began as a wide-eyed 15 year old. Attending DASH changed the course of my life. I was fortunate to be accepted and graduate from Pratt Institute and to have the experience of living in New York City. I am now a professional licensed Architect and Interior Designer. I have been a designer on two nationally televised hit shows: “In a Fix” on The Learning Channel and “My First Place” on HGTV. I am the current president and co-founder of the DASH Alumni Association. We volunteer our time fundraising to provide scholarships for graduating students.
DD: DASH benefits so much from the support of our PTSA, Advisory Board, Alumni Association, Internship mentors and Design District neighbors. What would you say makes DASH’s relationship with its community so special?
FG: I believe what is so special about the relationship I have with DASH is that it represents a life altering experience. The positive energy that is generated by 500 highly motivated students discovering what they love to do, creating and pursuing their dreams is contagious and inspiring. I cannot help feel drawn to it like a magnetic field. It transforms lives like it transformed the Design District neighborhood from the 90’s and I feel grateful to have been a part of it.
DD: Many different kinds of people from many walks of life make up our school. How would you describe the uniqueness of your own family? What are your family’s thoughts or feelings about your work with DASH?
FG: My being the first to graduate with a professional degree in my family is the reason they value my experience with DASH. I continue my alumni volunteer work today to ensure DASH’s capacity to provide scholarship opportunities to deserving young people, like myself, so that they can reach their full potential.
DD: We’ve come a long way since DASH opened back in 1990. What growth have you witnessed in your history with DASH? How would you envision DASH ten years from now? Where do you see yourself 10 years down the road?
FG: DASH opened its doors in a desolate Design District. As a student, I recall the riots of the 90’s blocks from the school. Today thanks in part to the rising star of DASH and the Dacra master plan, the Miami Design District is once again the top destination in our city for leading designer showrooms. Ten years from now I see DASH benefiting from the prosperity of its alumni as we become established in our professions. I see my studio growing and striving to provide internships and job opportunities for DASH students.
DD: What are your hidden talents, extraordinary accomplishments, big-dream ambitions, or upcoming adventures that might inspire others?
FG: My goal with the alumni association is to sell enough Legacy Bricks to continue to provide and increase our scholarship contributions. I also see the need to enhance the school facility. It would be great to be able to remodel the student bathrooms. I have committed my time and design services, and am in the process of recruiting contributors in the community to donate tiles, plumbing fixtures, paint, installation, labor etc. to assist me in the remodeling while planning DASH’s inaugural 20th Year Reunion next spring and juggling motherhood duties of raising a precious, joyous child.