Each fall and spring, as we close our Build U. and Women in Technology scholarships for the season, we are always inspired by the hundreds of applications we receive. It reinvigorates our team to hear directly from students who are passionate about their areas of study in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)—and we can relate 100%!
With our most recent STEM scholarships, we were excited to see even more applications come in from students all across North America. In fact, our two most recent winners are both from Canada! This is the first time we’ve had two winners from our northern neighbor.
After we closed the application window, an internal reading committee reviewed each essay and video, and chose a winner based on how clearly and thoughtfully the entrant articulated themselves. The winning applicants each receive $2500 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 our team at Buildium, we want to thank all of the wonderful applicants for sharing their stories, passions, and personalities with us.
We are proud to highlight our winners of the Spring 2018 Scholarship Cycle: Janat Nansubuga, the winner of the Buildium Women in Technology Scholarship and Meghan Chen, the winner of the Build U. Scholarship!
Women in Technology Spring 2018 Winner:
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (class of 2019)
Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Women in Technology applicants were asked, “Which female leader in STEM most inspires you to pursue your dreams, and why?”
In her essay, Janat wrote a tribute to Kimberly Bryant, the electrical engineer who founded “Black Girls Code” (BGC): a training course that teaches basic programming concepts to black girls to help make technology careers more accessible in pursuit of diversifying the workforce in the industry. Bryant has been listed as one of the “25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology” by Business Insider and her organization has already trained 3,000 girls across 7 chapters in U.S. cities. Janat explains her admiration for Bryant: “She is inspiring future generations of female STEM leaders while also bringing together emerging talent to ideate around solving for real-world challenges through a STEM lens.”
Janat explains how she strives to do the same: “One of the many things that drives me as a female engineering student is my aspiration to be an example and an inspiration not only to black women, but also to all women and girls out there hoping to pursue a career in STEM.”
“Being from a third world country (Uganda), I came to Canada to pursue a better-quality education leaving my family, friends and all I ever knew behind. I have never once regretted that decision. In my country, there is a countless number of girls who are avidly interested in STEM programs—but have neither the funds nor the access to these programs. When I graduate, I hope to join the troops to increase the number and diversity of women in STEM, and also increase awareness in the field. According to the data coming from the Center for Women’s Business Research, women make up less than 20% of professional engineers in the U.S. and Canada.”
When we asked about what excites her as a student of STEM, she replies, “The most exciting aspect of studying and working in STEM is the fact that the real-life applications and the number of ways it could help people and improve life in general are limitless, and it’s so humbling but incredibly thrilling to be a part of that.”
Build U. Spring 2018 Winner:
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (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 company 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
Meghan chose to write about Lupii Cafe, Vancouver’s first zero-waste coffee purveyor. Lupii Cafe boasts that everything within its four walls is made from recycled material. Meghan explains, “Innovative waste-reducing solutions include cloth hand towels in the washrooms, coffee filters and tea bags made from washable cotton, and tables repurposed from old gym floors. Lupii has also partnered with various local supermarkets to reduce food waste; their cooking makes use of “seconds”, which are blemished or very ripe produce items that are still safe for consumption, but can no longer be sold on store shelves.”
Lupii Cafe also hosts community dinners and healthy meals at a discount for families in need, bi-monthly craft classes, free tutoring sessions in partnership with the previous store owner, and “coffee times” for families with special needs children.
Meghan explains, “Lupii Café’s innovative approach to community eating masterfully demonstrates Buildium’s core values of passion, initiative, and helpfulness. The team’s commitment to waste reduction influences every aspect of their business practices, and their community outreach initiatives and affordable offerings further expand their network of positive influence. Lupii consistently exercises environmental and social stewardship in its day-to-day operations, showing that companies can be run with integrity and transparency. This business is living proof that with clear priorities and a little innovation, there are no limits to what an organization can accomplish.”
When we asked Meghan how she will use the scholarship money, she said, “I plan to apply the scholarship money to the final semesters of my undergraduate degree in biology. This award will allow me to pursue a nursing degree or postgraduate studies in a healthcare-related field. I hope to go on to further studies, so the financial assistance is very much appreciated!”
We again congratulate Janat and Meghan, and wish them continued success in their careers!
You can apply for Buildium’s next round of scholarships now until November 1, 2018. Be sure to watch the Build U. and Women in Technology pages for more information as the application period approaches.