The ITE Diversity Scholar Program Committee is pleased to announce that Jouselyn Lopez from Phoenix, AZ, USA, has been chosen to be the inaugural ITE Diversity Scholar. Jouselyn is a 4.0 student, regularly works 30 hours per week, is an active volunteer in her community, and will be the first person in her family to graduate from college. She is planning to attend Arizona State University in the fall to major in civil engineering. Last summer Jouselyn interned with AECOM on a light rail expansion project affecting her community, and during this time she met transportation engineers, increasing her interest in the profession while grasping the positive effect that access to efficient transportation can have on communities.
Through her personal statement and the letters of recommendation provided on her behalf, the committee realized that in the face of personal adversity Jouselyn has shown great determination. In her own words, “I want to increase the numbers of Hispanic women from communities like mine in the field and break labels.I do not want women like me to be the exception, but the expected in engineering careers. I would love to represent my communities’ values by telling the story of a young girl who worked day and night for a higher education and received her degree. I would love to show other young people in my community that anything can be done with hard work and the right amount of support and help from others. This scholarship will help me to do this and so much more.”
The establishment of the ITE Diversity Scholars Program was an idea proposed by ITE Honorary Member Ken Voigt, one year ago. Over the past year, the ITE Diversity Scholars Committee and ITE Staff have worked to put together a meaningful and sustainable program for young scholars. Understanding that being a first generation college student is incredibly challenging, this program is unique in that it is built on providing multi-faceted support: mentoring, internships, ITE student chapter participation, and $4,000 in annual tuition support for up to 5 years of undergraduate work. The intent is to support at least one new recipient each year, with the opportunity to award additional scholars, should more support come forward.
The funding for this year’s scholar is provided through the ITE Legacy Fund. On average, 150 members contribute yearly to this fund. The ITE Legacy Program supports younger member programs such as Student Leadership Summits, LeadershipITE scholarships, the Matson and Hammond Mentoring Program, and the ITE Diversity Scholars Program. Our ability to make a difference is only limited by the funds available. If you are interested in donating to the ITE Legacy Fund or are interested in establishing a new Legacy Program, you can find more information here: ITE Legacy Program or email firstname.lastname@example.org.