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National Society of Black Engineers Gateway Chapter invests in youth by awarding eight local scholarships

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On Sunday, July 16, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Gateway Chapter held its 21st annual Scholars Reception and Awards Ceremony. The Scholars Reception and Awards Ceremony is held annually to support students’ financial needs for college, showcase future leaders and recognize key supporters.

This year, eight students were awarded scholarships up to $1,500: Kaysi Lee, Hazelwood East High; Blake Fields, Webster Groves High School; Olivia Martin, MICDS; Maya Jones, Soldan International Studies High School; Nicholas LeNoir, MICDS; Erykah White, Pattonville High School; Michael Caradine, Parkway Central High; and Joshua Porter, MICDS.

According to Ron Moore, chair of the chapter’s Pre-Collegiate Initiative program, said over the past 20 years NSBE has awarded $225,000 in over 140 scholarships.

The Scholars Reception and Awards Ceremony was held in the IL Monastero Banquet Center at Saint Louis University, where nearly 200 guests were treated to the soulful sounds of Mario Miles-Turnage violinist and finger foods served by Murray Catering. Students and guests mingled and exchanged stories about their experiences in NSBE.

“NSBE helped me figure out how things work and helped me figure out what I want to do with my life after high school,” said Jasmine Nelson, a senior at Jennings Senior High School who has been an NSBE member for a year. “I’m thinking about a career in bio-medical engineering.”

Kaysi Lee, a 2017 graduate of Hazelwood East High School, is new to NSBE but plans to stay involved as she furthers her education with the organization’s support.

“I wish I’d known about NSBE when I was younger, but I had an opportunity to attend the NSBE Conference this past March and loved it. I learned so much and it confirmed my decision to become an engineer,” Lee said.

“NSBE has helped to fund my tuition at Missouri University of Science and Technology, where I will pursue a degree in chemical engineering. I plan to continue my participation in NSBE while in college and help other young, black females see the importance of a STEM career, and that they can be successful and make positive contributions to their community.”

Before the event was over, students heard an inspiring presentation from Rosalind Fox, factory manager at John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, Iowa. Fox, who grew up in Kinloch, is the first African-American female in the history of John Deere to hold that position. Fox shared her story of hard work, tenacity, and resilience.

“I was determined to succeed,” she told the students. “I wanted to do something great.” She ended her presentation by telling the students, “I want to be an inspiration to you.”

NSBE is one of the area’s leaders in engaging Africa-American students in positive, creative and innovative STEM activities. Area students in grades 6-12, participate in NSBE’s Pre-Collegiate Initiative (PCI) program designed to offers students opportunities to motivate their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Students meet on Saturdays in the engineering building on the campus of St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and participate in hands-on activities that explore how engineering and technology relate to the world around them and encourage them to attend college and pursue a technical degree.

NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

Story from The St. Louis American

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