The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation have named 14 San Jacinto College students as Siemens Technical Scholars.
The scholarship awards are in conjunction with San Jacinto College being awarded the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award for the College's associate degree nursing and process technology programs.
Eight winning programs from seven community colleges across the country are receiving this award for providing outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy, health care, and information technology. Additionally, these community college programs are also being nationally recognized for their intentional outreach and support of diverse populations that typically are underrepresented in STEM careers. San Jacinto College is the only institution to receive the award for two programs.
Each winning program will receive $50,000, with half of the funds allocated for program development and the other half allocated as scholarships for outstanding students, known as Siemens Technical Scholars.
The San Jacinto College process technology Siemens Technical Scholars are...
The San Jacinto College nursing Siemens Technical Scholars are...
"San Jacinto College uses a holistic approach for equity in access and success to ensure that all students have an opportunity to earn a higher education credential," said Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. "We are incredibly thankful and grateful to the Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation for this award and for recognizing San Jacinto College faculty and staff for the important work they do every day to ensure our students succeed."
Process technology student Lupita Escandon says that this scholarship validates the fact that industry leaders are seeing the great work students in the program are doing.
"It means a lot to me to know there is a group of professionals watching us grow and believing in us and how we are preparing for our futures," she said. "As a full-time student and mother of three, it is a blessing financially to have the support and knowing that the completion of this journey will be more at ease."
Specializing in instrumentation, Escandon was somewhat intimidated at first. On one hand, she was entering career training for an industry that is predominately male. On the other, she was starting her college journey later than most students. But shortly after settling into her classes and attending the Women in Industry conference, her whole mindset changed.
"I was able to see my classmates as my team, and it even improved the way I communicated and worked with everyone on group assignments," she said. "Serving as an officer in the P-Tech Club also allowed me to grow not only leadership skills but to understand that, although we are different genders, at the end of the day we are a team and we work together as a group."
With the help of professors and other College leaders, Escandon has accomplished more than she first set out to do.
"The journey has not been easy, but it is so well worth every bit of it," she said. "I have learned and continue to learn from professors and leaders that I have chosen to follow. Some have become mentors and friends, and I will forever be thankful for all the time they have invested in me. I have had the honor to meet people I never thought I would by being of service to the team."
For nursing student Dacia Hudson, the scholarship helps ease the financial stress many students incur when paying for college.
Hudson adds that industry scholarships are beneficial to both industry sponsors and students training in those fields because the technical training aspect can sometimes get lost among other areas.
"It puts a spotlight on the technical aspects of educations and careers," she said. "This is great for both industry and students. Many times, technical careers and companies are overlooked. Therefore, these scholarships contribute to the positive output on both students and companies."
Hudson wants to specialize in labor and delivery or trauma due to the unexpected nature of each area. She was also personally impacted by nurses in these areas — those who helped deliver her daughters and those who took care of her husband when he had an accident this April. These nurses solidified her nursing goals and intrigued her interest even more.
"Being in the San Jac nursing program, I appreciate having professors who enjoy teaching and want you to succeed," Hudson said. "One of the things I have enjoyed in this past year are the lifelong friendships I have been blessed enough to form in this program."