MPOWER Financing is proud to continue our Women in STEM Scholarship Program, which first launched last February. For the cycle ending on November 15th, 2019, we awarded three scholarships: one grand prize of $5,000, one of $3,000, and one for $2,000. Each round, our team is immensely proud of the strength and scientific capabilities of the applications we receive. This cycle we received 171 eligible applications, from over 50 countries and 100 universities. It was an extremely difficult decision for our scholarship committee to narrow our list down to these exceptional winners. The women below are proven changemakers who we believe have the ability to make a difference in their communities and around the world. Check out their amazing stories!
Tsion Sadore, Doctor, Co-Founder of a Nonprofit, and Advocate for Homeless Girls
Grand Prize Winner; Ethiopia, University of Notre Dame
Tsion, a student at the University of Notre Dame, is pursuing a Master of Science in Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ESTEEM). Our scholarship committee was extremely impressed by her long list of past accomplishments, including graduating from a top medical school in Ethiopia. During medical school, Tsion co-founded a nonprofit organization named MEKREZ, “advocating and providing safe parenthood options for homeless adolescent girls living on the streets of Addis Ababa.” In addition to her nonprofit work, Tsion is most proud of her entrepreneurial ambitions and accomplishments. In her application, she wrote about the cancer center she started in Ethiopia, describing it as “the second-largest cancer center; [it] provides affordable chemotherapy for the public through innovative solutions in service provision.” Tsion’s impressive and diverse expertise is what she hopes perfectly prepares her for a future in innovative healthcare in East Africa. “I am extremely humbled by such validation of my motivations and passion to serve through healthcare.” Tsion said. “I am glad MPOWER is doing this for people, particularly strong young women, who are committed to driving change in their communities. It means a lot. Thank you!”
Vivian Abungu, Engineer Raising Living Standards in Kenyan Slums
2nd Place Winner; Kenya, University of Alabama
Vivian is an environmental engineering student, pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Alabama. Vivian wrote in her essay about, “the importance of changing waste to a valuable resource,” as well as her fascination with the latest waste management technology. She studied this technology and implemented a new method to fix potholes in the slums of Kenya based on the region’s weather conditions. Vivian depicted the success of this program, and wrote that “it eliminates processes and labor involved reducing road closure time by 95% during repairs works.” Vivian also launched a pollution control and management program in Kenyan slums. Her method utilizes similar technologies from her pothole program, and she applied the learnings here as well. This program worked to address the waste management problems, perfectly coordinating with her research studies. “A true pillar doesn’t get into the way of our dreams, but rather make it happen by doing all that’s necessary to make it a reality.” Vivian said. “MPOWER Women in STEM Scholarship is one such pillar! I can’t thank them enough for having lessened my steps towards the goal.”
J’Anna-Mare Lue, Global Development Scholar Campaigning for WASH in Rural Communities
3rd Place Winner; Jamaica, Drexel University
J’Anna is a master’s student at Drexel studying environmental engineering. Drexel University recognized the diligence in J’Anna and selected her as a Dornsife Global Development Scholar to study water, sanitation, & hygiene (WASH) in Lesotho as well as the 2019 iSTAR Scholar of the Year. In her application essay, she wrote about the impact the experience had on her studies and how her research, “examined the impact of drought on rural communities’ health, economy, & WASH infrastructure.” After returning back to campus, J’Anna started an organization on campus to raise awareness of WASH issues around the world. “Recently, we have launched a campaign to build a communal WASH station, in 2020, equipped with three latrines & a hand-washing station,” she wrote. “This space, a recommendation of my research, will serve a community of over 200 people who do not have access to a safe toilet.” “No matter how far I have traveled or far removed from home I feel, I still see myself as the little girl who grew up in rural Jamaica. It is an immense honor to be considered and selected for this award; it is a reminder that the work I do is meaningful, and the sacrifices that my family and I make are not in vain. It is also a reminder that I am not that little girl anymore. But, I am now a woman who is thriving in an unfamiliar and often alienating space,” J’Anna said. “I am grateful that MPOWER not only acknowledges the gender disparity in STEM but provides financial support to women in the field who have limited access to financial resources. This award will help me to continue my education as a chemical and environmental engineer, allowing me to focus more of my energy towards my roles as a student and a global health advocate rather than worrying about how my tuition will be paid.”
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