Making the world a more beautiful place: Summer McGrath, WEM Scholarship Recipient

Scholarship Spotlight: Summer McGrath, ’19 Interior Design


The decision to pursue a career in Interior Design was not immediately obvious for Dunwoody student Summer McGrath. But when her senior year of high school rolled around and it was time to apply for colleges, McGrath knew she needed to pick a path.

“It sounds silly, but I literally woke up one day and said to myself that I was going to be an interior designer,” she said.

The decision may have sounded rash, but for McGrath the career choice was a long time coming.

Having moved a lot during her childhood years, McGrath recalls how moving into new homes, but decorating with the same possessions, often forced creativity.

“We were always creating new spaces with the same furniture,” McGrath explained. “I liked that challenge.”

Summer McGrath, McMillan Scholarship recipient
Summer McGrath, McMillan Scholarship recipient
Interior Design

It was also around that time that McGrath received the computer game, “The Sims.”

“Throughout the game, you can build all of these amazing homes and businesses from nothing,” she explained. “It was something I used to express myself creatively. I still play variations of the game today, so I think that’s why Interior Design always felt right for me.”

When it came to choosing a college with the degree, Dunwoody was instantly one of McGrath’s final two choices.

“There are only two accredited schools for Interior Design in the State,” McGrath shared. “And Dunwoody was one of them. But both colleges were a little out of my price range. I thought I was going to have to go to a school out of state, and I really didn’t want to move away from my family.”

Things took a turn for the better when McGrath discovered she was accepted into Dunwoody’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP), a two-year scholarship initiative that helps high-potential but under-resourced individuals attend college. But the financial concern for what she

Summer McGrath, McMillan Scholarship recipient

would do after YCAP remained.

“That’s when I found out about the WEM Scholarship,” she said. “This scholarship made it possible for me to follow my dream, finish school, stay close to my family,

and not struggle to pay off loans in the future. It has impacted my life in almost every way, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Now in her fourth and final year, McGrath is excited to be so close to earning her degree and making an impact on the world.

“We spend around 90 percent of our lives indoors, and the spaces we live, work, and play in really affect us,” she explained. “I have always wanted to make the world a more beautiful place, and this profession is my way of doing that.”

McGrath is currently an intern at DLR Group in Minneapolis. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue working in commercial interior design.