Wkma Scholarship Essay

Lakshitha Rajendran, a junior studying chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati, took the inaugural Buildium Women in Technology Scholarship prize with this winning essay

“Charles Babbage!” I exclaimed. Curious expressions and puzzled faces stared back at me.

Ten minutes ago, I had just sat down at my first meeting of the Society of Women Engineers, excited to be surrounded by ambitious and driven women like myself. “Hello everyone!” said the President, “Welcome to the first Society of Women Engineers meeting of the semester. It is wonderful to meet fellow women who are pursuing their dreams, even in fields where we are a minority. To start off, I would like each new member to briefly tell us what inspired them to pursue technology.”

I listened as one of the girls described being inspired by her love of Legos and another described being influenced by an encouraging math teacher. When it was my turn, I stood up and said, “Charles Babbage.”

Yes, you heard me right – Charles Babbage, a mathematician, an engineer, an inventor and a man inspired my love for technology. At this moment, you are probably wondering why I am so enthusiastically about to describe how a male inventor inspired me to go into technology. It is ironic and seems to almost defeat the purpose seeing that I am writing for a scholarship aimed at women in technology. But let me explain.

Growing up, I had an obsession with computers and their invention. At the age of nine, I learned about Charles Babbage, considered a “father of the computer” and I was fascinated. Here was a person who so many years ago laid a foundation for one of the most extraordinary inventions that has now become an essential part of our lives. The fact that an ordinary person created something so amazing excites me, even to this day. It inspired me and made me dream of one day creating something so revolutionary, and thus started my appreciation of science and technology.

As I progressed through high school, I began to discover my love for all things chemistry and math. I realized I had an aptitude for problem solving and design. I loved the thrill of writing a software code, I loved carrying out experiments in lab and I loved being able to solve a difficult math problem. When I discovered chemical engineering and all the possibilities that it offered, I knew immediately that it was the perfect career for me.

Now you may ask why at this point, I didn’t stop and like so many women dismiss a future in science as inappropriate for a female. Why did I not stop and say to myself, “The only reason Charles Babbage achieved so much was because he was a man.” What inspired me to keep going?

Here’s my secret – nothing. Nothing inspired me to keep going. The truth is, I didn’t know that engineering was a man’s profession. Call me naive, maybe even sheltered but at no point in my life had someone told me that women were not supposed to be scientists. No one told me that as a woman I couldn’t enjoy problem solving, coding or design. I just didn’t know. And so, I never stopped to doubt my talents. The decision to follow my dream was an easy one.

And there we have it – a simple truth. If girls were told they were good enough growing up, if they weren’t fed gender stereotypes, if they weren’t told they should be pretty, play with dolls and leave the “tough jobs” to men, I suspect we would have a lot more females in technology. If like me, they had grown up completely unaware of the misguided notions that “computers are for boys” then like me, being a woman would have not been relevant to their career choice.

I recently read about a study that showed that if told that men score better in math tests than women, women tend to score worse. When they were not told anything, both genders scored equal on average. It made me wonder whether I would have still chosen to become an engineer had I grown up hearing that women cannot do math. It also made me grateful, because I realized that my childhood ignorance possibly led to one of the best decisions of my life. Even as I sit in classes with an overwhelming majority of men, I am thankful that my lack of knowledge allowed me to look at a male inventor and be inspired to become a chemical engineer.

Now in my third year, at the University of Cincinnati, I am well aware of the painful lack of women in STEM fields, but it has not discouraged me because I also see first-hand evidence every day that being a woman has nothing to do with success. I know that while the road so far has been difficult and I have had to work harder than I ever have before, so does every other male engineering student!

Although Charles Babbage was my first exposure to engineering, many women engineers have inspired me along the way too. My female idols have ranged from Ada Lovelace often described as the world’s first computer programmer to Debbie Sterling, the founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company aimed at inspiring the next generation of female engineers. But they inspired me because of their creative ideas, their willingness to take risks and their contributions to technology, not because they did it all “despite being a woman.”

So yes, Charles Babbage and his work on the Analytical Engine inspired and still continues to inspire my passion and dream to become a chemical engineer. On a completely irrelevant side note – he was a man.

Interested in applying for the Spring 2015 Buildium Women in Technology Scholarship? Please read the complete instructions and eligibility requirements first.

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Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? This month, we’re celebrating by highlighting unique scholarships for amazing female students.

Scholarships for women are offered to celebrate not only the achievements and accomplishments of the many great women who have paved the way to this modern day, but also to further the educational opportunities of young women of future generations.

Once of the best ways to honor such extraordinary women of the past is to take advantage of the opportunities awarded for your future – opportunities that, without their hard work, determination and efforts, would not be available to you today.

Scholarships are given for all different reasons. For example, some are based on race, ethnicity and, of course, gender. Gender became one of these categories because of the dedication women of the past who fought for equal educational opportunities for women.

And, while many still believe there’s progress to be made, one of the best ways to do so is by taking your future into your own hands and seizing such opportunities.

Many celebrate fierce females by awarding remarkable women in certain fields of study or through various organizations which focus on different aspects, such as women’s studies, the empowerment of women and endowments specifically left to female students.

Also, check out more information on financial aid, specifically for female students. It’s another great resource for any female looking for helpful ways to pay for school.

To help better organize your scholarship search, please note that the following awards for female students are listed according to deadline, with the earliest deadline appearing at the top of the page. Deadlines that vary will appear at the bottom of the list. As deadlines pass, opportunities will be refreshed as often as possible.

Here are some great scholarship opportunities that celebrate the true meaning of those who fought for women’s equality by enhancing the lives of women through educational opportunities:

Women in Leadership Scholarship

Deadline: 3/07/18
Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
Award Amount: 4 Awards of $2,500

The Women in Leadership Scholarship is available to women who are residents of Nebraska or the Ozark area of Missouri. You must be a senior in high school who is planning to graduate in the spring of 2018 in order to be considered for this award. Academic achievement, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and work experience are also considered.

Learn more about the Women in Leadership Scholarship.

Chicana/ Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

Deadline: 3/31/18
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 35 Awards of $1,500

The Chicana/ Latina Foundation Scholarship Program is open to women of Chicana / Latina heritage who reside and attend school in select counties in Northern California. Undergraduate students must have completed 12 semester units and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered for this award. Graduate students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Learn more about the Chicana/ Latina Foundation Scholarship Program .

The Future is Female Scholarship

Deadline: 6/29/18
Available to: Female students; High School Seniors through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: $3,000

The Future is Female Scholarship is available to female students. You must be a U.S. citizen and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. You must also answer five short essay questions.

Learn more about the The Future is Female Scholarship.

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship is available to female students who are age 35 or older. You must be a low – income student pursuing a technical / vocational education, associate’s degree, or first bachelor’s degree at a regionally or ACICS accredited school to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship.

Citizens Bank Womens Athletic Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available To: College Freshmen to College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Citizens Bank Womens Athletic Scholarship is open to female students at the University of Rhode Island.

You must be a Rhode Island high school graduate, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and demonstrate outstanding athletic talent, loyalty, ethics, leadership and discipline to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Citizens Bank Womens Athletic Scholarship.

Vivienne Camp Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 4 awards of $4,350

The Vivienne Camp Scholarship is awarded to two young Jewish men and two young Jewish women for college or vocational studies at a post-secondary California institution. You must reside in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo or Sonoma counties in California. You must also demonstrate academic achievement and financial need. Deadlines vary; therefore, it is encouraged that you apply early.

Learn more about the Vivienne Camp Scholarship.

“Salute to Mothers” Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Females, College Freshmen through College Sophomores
Award Amount: $1,000

The “Salute to Mothers” Scholarship is available to female students at Bucks County Community College. You must be supporting at least one child while attending BCCC, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be enrolled in at least six credit hours to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the “Salute to Mothers” Scholarship.

International Student Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 2 Awards for 100% of Tuition

The International Student Scholarship is available to entering full – time freshmen at the College of Saint Elizabeth. You must be an international student in the Women’s College to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the International Student Scholarship.

Nancy Yates Eby Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Nancy Yates Eby Scholarship is available to female students attending Baker College of Flint. You must be a single mother and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. Preference is given to marketing majors.

Learn more about the Nancy Yates Eby Scholarship.

Women’s University Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: 6 Awards of $1,000

The Women’s University Scholarship is available to students at Northwest University.

Learn more about the Women’s University Scholarship.

Women and Leadership Program, Panama City

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: Varies

The Women and Leadership Program, Panama City is open to female students from around the world who are interested in participating in a four-week program in Panama City, Panama, that includes: university courses, cultural activities and community service. Prospective students are evaluated based on the quality of application and may be contacted for an interview.

Learn more about the Women and Leadership Program, Panama City.

National Association of Women in Construction Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Juniors through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The National Association of Women in Construction Scholarship is available to female junior and senior students at the University of New Hampshire. You must be interested in a construction-related field to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the National Association of Women in Construction Scholarship.

Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship is available to African – American female undergraduate students. You must be at least 35 years of age and have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. You must also submit a 500 – word essay on the following topic: “Challenges to the Mature Student and How I Overcame Them.”

Learn more about the Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance Scholarship.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Juniors through Graduate Students, Year 3
Award Amount: $2,000

The P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education is available to female students in the United States and Canada.

You must be a citizen of the US or Canada and attend a college or university in the US or Canada.

You must be within 24 months of completing your educational goal and have spent at least 24 consecutive months as a non-student during your adult life to be eligible for this award.

Students in doctoral and professional degree programs are not eligible.

Learn more information about the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education.

Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $1,500

The Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship is available to students at Oakland University who are single heads of households and have had their education interrupted for at least one year. You must have earned at least 16 credits at the university level and have a minimum 2.5 GPA to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Women of Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship.

Columbus Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Columbus Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship is available to female students at least 25 years of age who have been residents of Bartholomew County for at least one year. You must be attending an accredited post- secondary institution to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Columbus Business and Professional Women’s Scholarship.

Tyler J. Viney Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Females, College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Tyler J. Viney Memorial Scholarship is available to fourth- and fifth-year students enrolled in the departments or schools of architecture at the following colleges: Prairie View A&M University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at San Antonio. You must demonstrate potential architectural talent and an interest in photography to be eligible for this award. Priority will be given to minority or female students.

Learn more about the Tyler J. Viney Memorial Scholarship.

Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Graduate Students, Year 1 through Year 5
Award Amount: $5,000

The Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award is available to female African-American students.

You must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. medical school program to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award.

O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
Award Amount: 8 Awards of $5,000

The O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship is available to female high school seniors who plan to enroll full-time in a four-year undergraduate program.

You must have a minimum 3.2 GPA and demonstrate financial need to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship.

Florida Association of Women Lawyers Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: Graduate Students, Year 1 through Year 3
Award Amount: Varies

The Florida Association of Women Lawyers Scholarship is available to students at Saint Thomas University, School of Law. You must demonstrate financial need and be active in school and community activities to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Florida Association of Women Lawyers Scholarship.

Business Scholarship for Single Women

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Sophomores
Award Amount: $300

The Business Scholarship for Single Women is available to female students at Thomas Nelson Community College. You must be majoring in business, be enrolled in at least three hours and have completed six hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to qualify for this award.

Learn more about the Business Scholarship for Single Women.

Esther Shiller Memorial Endowment Loan Fund for College Loans

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $6,000

The Esther Shiller Memorial Endowment Loan Fund for College Loans is available to Jewish men and women who demonstrate academic promise, financial need and the ability to repay the loans. You must be able to provide a qualified guarantor (co-signer). Additionally, you must be a resident of San Francisco, San Mateo, northern Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda or Contra Costa counties in California.

Learn more about the Esther Shiller Memorial Endowment Loan Fund for College Loans.

Center for the Education of Women

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through Graduate Students, Year 5
Award Amount: 40 Awards from $1,000 – $8,000

The Center for the Education of Women is available to returning women students at the University of Michigan. You must have had an interruption in education during which no academic credit was earned. You must be pursuing a clear educational goal in any undergraduate, graduate or professional program, full or part time, at any campus. Selection will be based on your strength of motivation, academic record, potential and creative and scholarly contributions.

Learn more about the Center for the Education of Women.

Scholarships for Women in STEM:

Women in Science Environmental Scholarship

Deadline: 12/01/18
Available to: High School Freshmen through College Seniors
Award Amount: $500

The Women in Science Environmental Scholarship is available to female high school or college students, with preference given to those who are choosing to pursue a science degree. You must demonstrate financial need, and submit a one-page essay that demonstrates an idea you have for helping improve the environment, either global or locally using Drone Technology to be eligible for this award.

Learn more about the Women in Science Environmental Scholarship.

Women in Wireless Communications Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Freshmen through College Sophomores
Award Amount: Varies

The Women in Wireless Communications Scholarship is available to female students in the College of Technology at Idaho State University.

You must be enrolled in the electronic wireless telecommunications program and demonstrate a strong academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities and future goals in the field of wireless communications to be eligible for this award.

Get more information on the Women in Wireless Communications Scholarship.

Society of Women Engineers – Boston Scholarship

Deadline: Varies
Available to: College Juniors through College Seniors
Award Amount: Varies

The Society of Women Engineers – Boston Scholarship is available to female junior and senior engineering majors at the University of New Hampshire.

Learn more about the Society of Women Engineers – Boston Scholarship .

Remember, there are plenty of additional scholarships available that aren’t exclusive to women. Check your scholarship matches regularly for more opportunities you qualify for.

You can also find internships and fellowships for women on Fastweb now.


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