by Christy Heitger-Ewing

Five Students Awarded Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis Scholarships

As a little girl, Georgia Haffley loved the idea of someday being a part of something that was bigger than herself.

“I wanted to provide a space where people could feel safe and comfortable and where they could gather for holidays to make memories,” says Haffley. She went on to do just that by studying construction management technology at Purdue University. She initially gravitated to architecture because she liked to design things that were functional and efficient. Ultimately, however, she realized that she wanted to see projects through to fruition so she felt a pull toward residential construction.

Haffley, who will begin her senior year at Purdue this fall, has secured a total of three college internships while in college. After her freshman year, she interned with Old Town Design Group, a company that specializes in semi-custom and fully custom homes. She spent time out in the field doing daily logs, walking sites with superintendents, and developing relationships with the trades. Following her sophomore year, she continued at Old Town Design Group, splitting her time between the office and the field.

“I was designing electrical plans. I learned a lot about codes, which was cool because then I could translate and be the bridge between the CAD department and the field team,” says Haffley. “It was fun to be a liaison between those two aspects.”

This summer she’s interning at S&B Construction where she spends time out in the fields with project managers doing estimating.

In the spring of 2022, Haffley was one of five college students to be awarded a BAGI scholarship, which is meant to encourage students to pursue careers in the home-building industry in Central Indiana. The other four recipients include Ciara Casteel, David DeSplinter Noah Graham, and Bowen Picket. Since 1989, the program has awarded $417,350 to 341 recipients.

BAGI has three scholarship funds: the H.F. Tim Hines Scholarship, Richard Sapp Scholarship and Alan J. Goldsticker Scholarship. Eligible students must be enrolled in a construction technology or related construction program. BAGI’s scholarship programs were created in honor of past leaders and members of the organization. Through these programs, the Association hopes to encourage individuals who have an interest in working within the residential construction industry to pursue higher education.

“It’s awesome to see companies like BAGI step up and promote the construction industry and promote people coming into it,” says Haffley. “What better way to do that than to help fund their studies?”

Haffley’s family is from the greater Indianapolis area so that’s where she plans to stay long term. Though she’s not yet sure what sector she’ll pursue, she knows she wants to be surrounded by people who are passionate about their jobs and about others.

“I enjoy building whatever people need, whether that’s their house, their church, or their office,” she says.

Ciara Casteel grew up around the construction industry as her dad was a plant manager at a concrete company. Though she spent her weekends watching and learning from him, originally, she thought she wanted to pursue a career in the medical industry. That all changed freshman year of high school, however, when she had to dissect a pig’s heart in her biomedical engineering class. Thankfully, through her high school and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) she was able to take a civil engineering and architecture class. Which, it turns out, was much more in her wheelhouse given her affinity for math.

When Casteel got to build a model home during her senior year, that effectively sealed the deal in her mind of what she wanted to do with her life. “That’s when I fell in love with residential building,” says Casteel. It’s more personable, and you get your hands in multiple jobs.” She also likes seeing a job from start to finish.

Casteel, who will graduate in the spring of 2023 from IUPUI, is studying construction management with a minor in business. Currently, she’s interning with Davis Homes, working on project estimates.

“BAGI is committed to creating and finding the right resources, partnerships and opportunities to help develop a skilled workforce that will support our members and industry through the future,” says Courtney Albright, Director of Communications & Special Events at BAGI. “We are a proud partner and supporter of programs like Build Your Future Indiana, a unique collaboration of employers, state agencies and industry associations with the mission of encouraging Indiana residents to learn more about construction and skilled craft career opportunities and training programs emerging across the state.”

Noah Graham, a two-time BAGI scholarship winner, starts his junior year at Purdue University this fall, studying construction management through the School of Technology. When he was a freshman, he planned to pursue an engineering degree, but it didn’t take long for him to figure out that such a career would require ample office time.

“I didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle my whole life,” says Graham, who then found that Purdue’s construction management program was a great fit.

Graham, who is in the student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), first learned about BAGI because they are a sponsor of NAHB. Last year he interned with Pulte Homes. This summer he’s interning in Fishers for Thompson Thrift Properties. His future plans include working in residential construction.

“I’d like to work for a homebuilding company and eventually start my own business building custom homes,” he says.

Through these efforts and more, BAGI is working to strengthen and enhance the local building community.

“We encourage and empower individuals to pursue a career in the construction industry,” says Albright. “There are plenty of jobs available that pay well and offer advancement opportunities. Contact us if you are interested in helping with our workforce development initiatives or are interested in seeing how BAGI can help you with your recruitment efforts.”

For information about the scholarship program and the Builders Association, visit