More than $2 million in college scholarships available through the Society of Hispanic Professional Enginners

Apply for 2009-2010 scholarships by April 1

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DALLAS – Hispanic college students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are invited to apply for more than $2 million in scholarships through AHETEMS (Advancing Hispanic Excellence in Technology, Engineering, Math and Science), the educational foundation of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

Students may apply for as many scholarships as they please, as long as they are eligible. The scholarships range in value from $1,000 to $5,000. There is no fee to apply, and individuals may apply for multiple scholarships via one single application. All applications must be postmarked by April 1.

“The opportunities are there for hard-working, dedicated Hispanic students interested in the crucial fields of science, technology, engineering and math, and we don’t want youth with talent and drive to be limited because of financial constraints,” said Rafaela Schwan, director of programs, AHETEMS. “Thanks to generous sponsors, AHETEMS has scholarship funds to support Hispanic students studying these fields. We encourage students to apply for these scholarships before April 1 so they may continue to pursue their academic goals in fields that will play a huge role in the future of our country.”

Several scholarships are available, including AHETEMS General Scholarships, AHETEMS Dissertation Scholarships, AHETEMS Professional Scholarships, AHETEMS/ExxonMobil Scholarships, AHETEMS/Kellogg Scholarships, AHETEMS/Northrop Grumman Scholarships, AHETEMS/U.S. Steel Scholarships and AHETEMS/Verizon Scholarships.

The different scholarships vary in terms of qualifications and the amount of scholarship money granted, but all scholarships require a minimum 3.0 GPA both at the time of application and throughout the scholarship period. Students must be registered fulltime (taking at least 12 credit hours as an undergraduate or nine credit hours as a graduate student) in a STEM discipline. Applicants may find specific requirements and apply for all scholarships at http://ahetems.org/scholarships.html.

Yury Vela, a Rutgers University student, is grateful for the scholarship opportunity she had through SHPE. “The possibility of attending college was only realized when I received my first financial aid award letter from my undergraduate institution,” Vela said. “Four years later, at the onset of finishing my last academic year at Rutgers University, I am thankful for supporters like you whom by granting me scholarships have made possible my pursuit of an undergraduate education. Therefore, I am sincerely indebted to you and your organization for your investment in my education and future. I thank you wholeheartedly for your support and vow to one day pay it forward.”

Students may either complete a scholarship application online at http://ahetems.org/scholarships.html or they may download an application and submit the completed application by mail. Only one complete application is necessary to be eligible for more than one scholarship, so applicants do not need to fill out multiple applications.

A list of all scholarship opportunities can be found at www.ahetems.org. For more information, please contact Berenice Rodriguez at the AHETEMS Foundation at (817) 272-1116 or berenicer@shpe.org.

The Need for Outreach

According to a 2008 report by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Latinos/as together account for 13.1 percent of the U.S. labor force over 16 years of age. If “engineering” is defined as including all engineers, engineering managers and technicians, the 153,000 Latinos/as employed as engineers account for just 5.8 percent of the engineering workforce. Therefore, as a group, they are very much underrepresented in engineering.

About SHPE and AHETEMS

SHPE, Inc. is the source for quality Hispanic engineers and technical talent, committed to enhancing America’s position in math, science, engineering and technology with a strong and talented Hispanic workforce. For more information, please visit www.shpe.org.

The AHETEMS Foundation directs and develops informal science education, educational enrichment, college awareness initiatives and college prep programs for Hispanic pre-college, undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, please visit www.ahetems.org.