For release:January 3, 2024
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Now in its third year, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) partnership between the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club and City Utilities invests in the future by awarding scholarships to area STEM students.
Tanya Chiwara, who was working on her Mechanical Engineering degree from Indiana Tech and was the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship last year, is a testament to the program’s positive impact.
“After Covid, there was a drastic change in my family’s financial situation. The scholarship was the difference between my being able to register for classes and continuing or not being able to go back last year,” said Chiwara. “The scholarship made a big difference in my life. I am grateful to the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club, City Utilities and the many businesses that make the scholarship program possible.”
Today, five students received scholarships totaling $12,000 to help pave the way for their future careers in STEM fields.
Accepting a $5,000 award was Samantha Miller, a Mechanical Engineering and Biology student at Purdue Fort Wayne.
Scholarships of $2,000 each were extended to Annabelle Novak, Civil Engineering, and Hannah Weirick, Environmental Science, both of Cedarville University, along with Sophia Bodkin, Environmental and Ecological Engineering from Purdue University.
A $1,000 Scholarship was given to Alexander Kohart, who studies Biology at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne.
The partnership supports college scholarships for City Utilities’ STEM interns, in addition to the skilled trades scholarships administered through the Questa Education Foundation.
“Supporting STEM education is pivotal in shaping our world and fits our Rotary mission to support sustainable, clean, safe drinking water,” said Kevin Rothgeb of Anthony Wayne Rotary Cub. “Through our collaboration with City Utilities, our scholarship program is nurturing the talents and aspirations of the next generation of leaders in the water and sewer industry. We believe strongly in our community and are pleased to invest in the students who will be tomorrow’s change makers.”
Support for the scholarships comes from the donations of more than 60 businesses and individuals.
Today’s scholarships went to STEM students interning for City Utilities. In 2023, the Utility had more than 30 interns and more than 200 over the past 20 years.
Around the country, companies are reporting a shortage of workers in the STEM fields. A recent US Chamber of Commerce Foundation report states that “jobs requiring substantial STEM expertise have increased by nearly 34% over the past decade.”
The partnership between the Anthony Wayne Rotary and City Utilities seeks to grow the STEM workforce through the scholarship program by assisting those entering the STEM fields.
Editor’s note: Photo ID l-r – Kevin Rothgeb of Anthony Wayne Rotary Cub, Sophia Bodkin, Hanna Weirick, Justin Brugger, City Utilities CFO, Annabelle Novak, Alexander Kohart (Samantha Miller was unable to attend).