“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” —Benjamin Franklin
There are familiar sights, sounds, and smells to the start of a new academic year—the crunch of leaves on the ground, the smell of new books, the unpacking of suitcases in dorm rooms, and halls crowded with swarms of new students.
It’s with that same level of anticipation that we announce the winners of the Fall 2018 Buildium scholarships.
Over the past five years, Buildium has heard from hundreds of students about what motivates them to pursue higher education. We’ve received submissions from undergraduate and graduate students across the globe who are incredibly driven in their pursuit of careers within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Year after year, we continue to be impressed by these students’ ability to articulate their goals and sources of inspiration. The winning applicants each receive $2,500 to put toward their education. Applicants are limited to STEM students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the U.S. and Canada.
On behalf of the reading committee and the whole team here at Buildium, we want to thank all of our wonderful applicants for sharing their stories, passions, and personalities with us. We’re proud to announce our two winners for the Fall 2018 scholarship cycle below; and we are so honored to have been a small part of their educational experience.
Buildium Scholarship Winner: Women in Technology
Aurora Gray, Kansas State University – Class of 2022
Women in Technology scholarship applicants were asked, “Which female leader in STEM most inspires you to pursue your dreams, and why?”
We were impressed and delighted that Aurora decided to actually interview her chosen subject, Lenora Payne, CEO and founder of Technology Group Solutions LLC. Lenora and her company have received a host of awards, including Enterprising Women Magazine’s Woman of the Year, Top Woman-Owned Business, and 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Companies Worldwide. Aurora wrote that Payne was a “big inspiration to me, not only because she has overcome the challenge of being a minority woman in a STEM leadership role, but because the type of work she does is the same type of work I am most interested in.”
Our favorite moment of the interview came when Aurora asked Lenora, “What’s one thing that you would want to share with young women in STEM like me?” Aurora describes that Lenora smiled warmly and said, “Respect yourselves and others, and believe that individuals that are treated with respect and given responsibility will respond by giving their best.”
When we asked what excites her about her field, Aurora replied: “I am determined to make it in Engineering, which is a mostly male-dominated field. I really want to make a difference in this world, and engineering is the perfect platform. Your scholarship means you believe in me and are partnering with me to help others. That is a really big deal, and having your support is encouraging. It also means I will be able to achieve my goals with less student debt.”
Buildium Scholarship Winner: Build U.
Rizel Bobb-Semple, Boston University – Class of 2020
Build U. scholarship applicants answered the question, “Which company do you admire that exemplifies one or more of Buildium’s six core values?” Our values are:
- Focus on customers first
- Be helpful and supportive
- Communicate openly and honestly
- Be nimble and flexible
- Take initiative and work hard
- Be passionate and have fun
Rizel chose to write about Boston-based tech company HubSpot and how she believes that it focuses on customers first. She describes about how “HubSpot understands that happier employees are more motivated to develop improved products and provide customers with an exceptional customer experience. Unlike most companies, HubSpot invests in the personal lives of its employees.”
Rizel had a first-hand look at HubSpot’s employee-first approach when she herself was an employee in the summer and fall of 2017. She writes that she is an advocate of HubSpot because she believes “HubSpotters are customer-focused, supportive, candid, flexible, hardworking, passionate, fun, and more. Yet, HubSpot’s most significant and impressive trait is the support it generates for all employees.”
We asked Rizel how she plans to use the scholarship prize, and she responded: “For my education, this means the world. I was actually very worried that I wouldn’t be able to pay for this semester. In the past, I already had to withdraw from college due to limited finances, and I didn’t want to repeat that situation again. This has also motivated me to apply to more scholarships because now I know I have the ability to win.”
Congratulations and best of luck to Aurora and Rizel from all of us here at Buildium!
You can apply for Buildium’s next round of scholarships between March 15 and April 15, 2019. Be sure to watch the Build U. and Women in Technology pages for more information as the application period approaches.Read more on Buildium News