RizePoint Sends 20 Utah Students to STEM Summer Camps

STEM scholarship awards

This week we awarded the second annual RizePoint STEM Scholarship Awards. Last year we started this program to demonstrate our investment in the local community. A lot has happened in the last year: we formalized our corporate social responsibility efforts; launched cutting-edge technology updates, and were named a top workplace in Utah. Of all the new initiatives, the STEM Scholarship Award program is by far the most inspiring, and it reaffirms how one business can make a difference in the community.

On Wednesday, 20 ambitious students received awards that will cover the cost of a STEM-oriented summer camp. The award makes it possible for students to continue exploring their curiosity in science outside of the classroom. Many students are attending a camp for the first time.

This is always one of our favorite times of the year. Getting to read the applications from students and learn more about their interests and ambitions is fantastic. It’s exciting to see the curiosity and joy that drives a love of learning, and it always leaves us feeling ready to learn new things and tackle new projects too.

The competitive grant application brought in more than 40 applicants and required a personal statement from the student about their STEM ambitions, as well as a letter of recommendation from a friend and a teacher. Students wrote about everything from an interest in programming, to curing chronic disease that affects family members, to building robots that will help people and animals. Applications were evaluated by Canyon School District officials and a committee of RizePoint employees for completeness, creativity, and merit.

During the awards ceremony, President and CEO Frank Maylett asked the students what they hoped to learn at their summer camps. We heard everything from “hacking, the good and bad kind” to “any type of code” and “robotics because I want to learn how robots can help the world.” Hearing their responses to why they chose each camp is a good reminder for all of us to stay excited about the amazing developments in technology. We’re proud to be a part of helping young scientists and engineers learn more and have fun doing it.

This is the second year we have recognized local students with STEM scholarships. We developed the program in collaboration with Canyons School District as a hands-on way to contribute to the development of STEM education in Utah. This innovative program is the first of its kind, but our goal is to make others aware of the opportunities available to contribute to STEM education in Utah.

Highlights from the 2017 Winning Applications
“When I grow up I want to be a engineer, Minecraft superstar. I can put together a Rubix cube in less than 15 seconds. I want to learn by people who are experts so I can get smarter.” – 5th grader

“I love science! I love animals and I love learning about the environment and the known universe. Going to this camp would help me to learn more about the environment and animals.” – 6th grade

“My dad has a chronic disease. I am interested in becoming a scientist so I can work on finding a cure for him.” – 6th grade

“I was a refugee from another country who just came to United State last year. I don’t have any STEM experience, but I would like to take this opportunity to grow my interest.” – 10th grade

“My dad works in Salt Lake County government and my mom is a teacher. Since they both are public servants they don’t make a lot of money. However, they are trying to raise us to appreciate education. This is why this scholarship is important to me.” – 5th grade

We’re proud to support local students and the broader initiative to fill the skills gap in Utah’s labor force.

 

View more pictures from the event on our Facebook page.

Whitney McCarthy

Whitney McCarthy is the Communications Manager at RizePoint where she oversees corporate communications and community relations. Prior to RizePoint, McCarthy was a marketing manager at Winder Farms. Her work experience includes directing a local, grass-fed beef startup, writing Honest Tea’s sustainability report and overseeing over thirty sustainability projects at the University of Utah. She holds a B.S. in environmental studies from Westminster College, a master’s degrees in environmental science, and an MBA from the University of Utah.