Minority students capture just 13 percent of engineering jobs annually, according to the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), despite minorities constituting 34 percent of the 18- to 24-year-old population. One way to increase the number of minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields is by providing more scholarships to deserving Latino students focused on the sciences.
In this article, we profile seven of the top STEM scholarships that target Latinos, minorities and other students including: 1) lhc Google Scholarship Program; 2) NASA Scholarsliips; 3) the Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program; 4) the NiVCME Scholars Program; 5) Advancing Hispanic Excellence in Technology, Engineering, Math and Science (AHETEMS) scholarships; 6) the Aetna Nursing Scholarship; and 7) Great Minds in STEM.
Earning a scholarship lakes preparation and forethought. Following are some inside tips on how Latino students can earn STEM scholarships. They come to us upon the recommendation of Frank Alvarez, who was president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSi) for five years before retiring from the nonprofit organization in January 2013.
Tip No. 1, Prepare for Scholarships Early in High School: Starting as a freshman in high school, Latino students must develop a success plan to compete for scholarships, Too many students wake up in their senior year and start thinking about applying for scholarships. But by that time, the odds of winning one have narrowed. Start taking challenging classes in math, science and English as a freshman. Take challenging courses including several Al' courses, Meet with an advisor and take classes in the right sequence to build on skills and knowledge.
Tip No. 2, Differentiate Yourself from the Competition: Latino students must differentiate themselves in high school to compete for scholarships. Becoming president of student government, editor of the school newspaper or a band member are all ways to separate oneself from the pack. Scholarship donors are seeking community-minded students. Tutoring Latino and other students at an elementary or middle school is a solid way to difterenliate yourself. Said Alvarez: ''Mentoring others shows scholarship donors that you're thinking about other people."
Tip No. 3, Sharpen Your Interviewing Skills: Tn many lutino families, children are encouraged to be quiet and respectful, which is fine. But some scholarships involve being interviewed, and often the students that are most expressive, articulate and commanding shine. Find a teacher you trust and ask if he or she can perform mock interviews to sharpen your interviewing skills.
Tip No. 4, View Science and Engineering in a New Way: Many students are intimidated by science, math or engineering. But some of these same students can break down a computer, use robotics and understand Wi-Fi. If students see science in a problem-solving way. it can boost their confidence and sense of mastery.
Tip No. 5, Practice and Prepare for the SATs: Striving for the highest grade-point average (GPA) and SAT scores serves as one critical way to earn a STEM scholarship. Affluent students take Kaplan and Princeton Review SAT prep courses, so minority students need to find ways to prepare for taking SAT tests as well. The College Board has been exploring ways to provide lower-income