STEM scholarship for Clarkston student


Universal Technical Institute (UTI) has awarded tuition grants to three female students planning to pursue a STEM education and career after they graduate high school next year.
Grant applicants were asked to describe a time in their lives when they tried a new, difficult activity that helped them gain more self-confidence.
First-place winner Katherine West, of Clarkston, earned a $25,000 scholarship grant by describing her experience enrolling in the Collision and Repair program at Oakland Schools Technical Campus in Clarkston. West said she had to face the fear of beginning a new course and knowing she would be one of the few female students in the program.
“I was terrified initially because I didn’t know anything about cars, and I was aware of the stigma surrounding women in a male-dominated industry,” said West. “Then, I found out I was not the only girl in my class, and as the class went on, things started clicking.”
All three applied through a grant program sponsored by UTI and IGNITE Worldwide, a non-profit organization working to change gender and racial equity in STEM. The students earned a combined $50,000 in total grants to cover a significant portion of their future UTI tuition.
In addition to scholarship grants, UTI’s support of IGNITE Worldwide also includes facilitating on-campus and virtual conferences that give female students across the country the opportunity to hear from women who are paving the way in the skilled trades.
“On behalf of UTI, I want to congratulate the winners and thank all the participants who shared important moments in their lives that led to their personal growth,” said UTI CEO Jerome Grant. “We look forward to welcoming these motivated students to our campuses after high school, where they will see the steps, we are taking to diversify our student body and, ultimately, the transportation industry.
“Our employer partners look to us to help meet their need for skilled workers, and we know that a diverse workforce benefits those employers as well as the economy.”
West plans to attend the UTI-Lisle campus near Chicago.

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