Weitzman News

Posted August 11, 2020
  • Céline Apollon and Jazmin Diaz

Weitzman School Welcomes Moelis Scholars for 2020-2022

Céline Apollon and Jazmin Diaz have been selected for the Moelis Scholars Program in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the Weitzman School.

Established in 2019 through the leadership of Ron Moelis (C’78 W’78), the Program prepares students with a commitment to diversity to be the next generation of leaders in the field of urban planning. Students who intend to pursue careers in public/private development or housing, community and economic development are particularly encouraged to apply. Scholars are provided with full tuition for the two years of the program, along with a one-year research assistantship, one year of membership with the American Planning Association post-graduation, and mentorship from a faculty member and Moelis Scholar alumni.

Céline Apollon is pursuing a Master of City Planning with a concentration in Community and Economic Development. Apollon is from Atlanta, Georgia, and completed her Bachelor of Science in Economics with a minor in Sustainable Cities at Georgia Tech. While at Georgia Tech, she interned at the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in the Retail Payments Office. She also completed a year in a French exchange program in Paris at Sciences Po, with a focus of study on Social and Urban Economics. While adapting to a new culture and environment in Paris, she volunteered at a local refugee residence called Les Cinq Toits. Here, she developed an interest in placemaking for refugees and other marginalized communities. Her work with the refugee community continued as a volunteer welfare coordinator at a refugee camp in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Upon return to Georgia Tech, Apollon interned for a year at Focused Community Strategies (FCS) with the Lupton Center where she completed work in Historic South Atlanta by developing the Flourishing Neighborhood Index tool to measure the health of a community with collected data at the neighborhood level. She also helped organize community civic league meetings in South Atlanta addressing racial tensions in the community. This summer, Apollon is working to develop an app using Xcode for Sinapis Group to facilitate digital coaching methods for entrepreneurs in Africa.

Jazmin Diaz is pursuing a Master of City Planning with a concentration in Community and Economic Development. Jazmin is from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a dual degree in Anthropology and Spanish and a minor in Civic Engagement from Wagner College. As a student, she completed over 1200 hours of service with community-based organizations primarily serving the immigrant and refugee population. Diaz conducted research on diasporic communities and trans-local groups in Mexico and New York evaluating the limitations of international economic migration to escape conditions of poverty. In Northern Peru, Diaz served as a research intern and later a project director for MOCHE INC (Mobilizing Opportunity for Community Heritage Empowerment). In collaboration with community leaders, she conducted a demographic analysis and facilitated the construction of an accredited “eco”-kindergarten, utilizing reclaimed plastic bottles and recyclable items to create a multi-use classroom space. Since graduation, she has worked for La Colmena, a community-based organization in New York, supporting alternative economic models driven by immigrant women and workforce development opportunities for day laborers. Jazmin believes in the power marginalized communities harness to create equitable, alternative solutions to build a more democratic society.