Lewis Foundation 2023 Scholarship Winner: Edgar Conde

By: Lewis Team
Lewis Foundation scholarship recipient Edgar Conde (center) poses for a graduation day photo with his family.

At first, Edgar Conde didn’t envision a life in construction. Hailing from a family entrenched in the industry, he had big plans to become a mechanical engineer and work on cars, a passion only second to soccer. But even the best-made plans change. The further into his college career, the more Edgar was drawn to the family trade.

From building Legos as a little boy, to helping his dad transform their family home in Seattle, he’s always had a knack for tinkering. While growing up, his dad worked as a laborer pouring foundations. He steadily rose through the ranks until 2006, when he started his own business pouring foundations in residential construction. Edgar frequented jobsites with his dad and was eventually enlisted to help the family business.

Slowly but surely, he embraced this career path.

Edgar’s direct experience in construction, coupled with his warmth and accessibility, made him a class favorite in the University of Washington Construction Management program over the past four years. His UW academic advisor, Rachel Faber Machacha, praises his exceptional work ethic and people management skills. She believes the Lewis Scholarship, awarded to Edgar in Spring 2023 through the Lewis Foundation, could not have found a more deserving student. The scholarship is more than a reward—it’s an investment in Edgar as a future colleague who will add value to this industry.

Working diligently to support the family business and pay for college, all while balancing the demands of the construction management program,  was no easy feat. And yet, Edgar persevered.

During senior year, Construction Management students are required to complete a capstone project. This project is critical for graduation. Students must create a proper bid package and present it to a panel of industry experts. The Lewis Scholarship was a welcome relief because it removed the stress of working to pay for school and allowed Edgar to better plan his remaining quarters. It also empowered Edgar to devote himself completely to his capstone, creating a bid package for an approximately $24 million single-story elementary school in Newberg, Oregon.

Edgar was wracked with nerves and imagining the worst-case scenario in preparation for the capstone presentation. Still, his parents were a grounding force, reminding him to be confident in his knowledge and the work he poured into his studies. And they were right; the capstone presentation was a hit!

Graduation day is a significant milestone for most, but for a first-generation college graduate, it’s a legacy-changing moment. Edgar’s parents were the very first of the graduate families to arrive at the June 2023 ceremony. They erupted in cheers and tears as they witnessed their son receive his diploma. His entire family beamed with pride.

Edgar’s dreams are big and beautiful. He’s eager to grow professionally as a project engineer in K-12 construction. But that’s merely the beginning. Once he has a few commercial projects on his resume, Edgar dreams of helping his father scale the family business to pour foundations for commercial projects. Until then, he’s applying his education to the family business through bidding, standardizing paperwork and invoicing.

With Edgar’s fresh approach and his dad’s “old-school” experience, father and son are building a legacy that matters to the Conde family.