Black Kids in Outer Space. Gisla Bush. Gigi the Planner.

Gisla Bush has been a resident of the City of West Park, Florida for most of her life. She is the eldest of 9 children. Gisla received a homeschool education from the age of 5 to 15. At the age of 15 she began a dual enrollment program at FAU High School, where she took college classes through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) during her 3 remaining years at FAU High School. She graduated from FAU High School in the Spring of 2013 and 3 months later, at the age of 18, graduated from FAU with a Bachelor’s Degree in UrbanDesign with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Not only was she able to complete her 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in 3 years but she also graduated with cum laude honors. Subsequently she obtained her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in the Fall 2015 with a 3.8 GPA. Gisla was the youngest in both her bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to graduate at her commencement ceremonies within her given major.

During Gisla’s collegiate career, she, along with her two sisters, Gabrielle and Grace, who also accomplished similar feats, were recognized by FAU on many occasions. She was recognized as one of the “Graduate Students Making Waves” for the entire College of Design and Social Inquiry, a recognition that was also included on the FAU website as well as the FAU Graduate College brochure. She, along with her sisters and parents, were recognized at President Kelly’s 2014 State of the University Address for all of their accomplishments. She and her 2 sisters were also recognized during the half-time break at the first FAU home football game in 2014.

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More recently she was deemed one of the 100 most outstanding women in the history of FAU and was included in a book, Legacymakers: 100 Women of Distinction at Florida Atlantic University, that gave recognition to these women. This book was debuted at the 2016 FAU Gala. Additionally, Gisla was the youngest ever recipient of the Robert A. Caitlin/David W. Long Scholarship from the Planning and Black Community Division of the American Planning Association, a national award. Gisla recently started a new business venture called Gigi The Planner where she aims to aid with increasing the number of black planners by inspiring black kids to become future planners. She plans on doing this by conducting workshops in the community to teach the kids about her field of study. This past summer she conducted two successful workshops. All together there were a total of 44 attendees for both workshops, all of whom were very much engaged and intrigued about the field of urban planning. She is currently working on expanding her business to also provide career coaching for future planning students, current planning students, and those that are looking for assistance in making the next step in their career. In the meantime, she is currently working for the City of Pompano Beach as a Planner and has been there for 5 years, working in her field since the age of 18. Currently she is a Division Officer of the Planning and the Black Community Division of the American Planning and Association. In addition to that she serves on three advisory committees in the City of West Park.

She is also very involved in her church, Koinonia Worship Center and Village, serves in many different capacities in her local assembly as an usher, Sunday school teacher, event planner, amongst other things.

Also, in an effort to give back to the community she and her two sisters, have begun a math tutoring program for school-age children called GB 3 Literati in the surrounding community. In her free time, Gisla enjoys reading, crocheting, performing the piano with her family musical ensemble BG Harmonies, and, most importantly, spending time with family and friends.

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