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The Aerospace Corporation Announces First Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Scholarship Winner

Press Release From: Aerospace Corporation
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2016

The Aerospace Corporation is pleased to announce Ms. Heydy Arias has been selected as the first winner of the Dr. Wanda M. Austin Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship, which is a part of The Aerospace Corporation’s STEM Endowment. Arias will receive $10,000 for use for her college studies this year. This scholarship may be renewed annually, up to a total of four years, for a total scholarship value of $40,000.

“We are extremely honored to award Heydy with our first scholarship. The Aerospace Corporation has always been dedicated to encouraging the next generation of engineers and scientists,” said Dr. Wanda Austin, president and CEO. “We have no doubt Heydy will use this endowment to further her college education and future career goal to be a high school math teacher.”

“I am extremely honored that I was selected to be awarded with the Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Scholarship,” said Arias. “I can’t wait to use the scholarship for my education to support my career goal of becoming a math teacher.”

Arias is a straight-A student at Montebello High School, excelling across the range of her curriculum, including a number of honors and Advanced Placement courses. As first-generation college bound, Arias faced significant academic challenges in her early educational career, the result of being a native Spanish speaker. She worked diligently to overcome this deficit, and for a time was the only bilingual speaker in her immediate family, helping her parents and her younger brother navigate past the obstacles she once faced. Arias spends many hours as a tutor for her fellow students, and is involved in several school-based activities: AVID, a college readiness program for any student motivated to attend a 4-year university; the Spanish Club; and the Chicano Club. She is also a dedicated tennis player, and volunteers for and organizes a number of community-based events, including 5K runs and city cleanups, among others.

In awarding the Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Scholarship, Aerospace accepted applications from schools the corporation has worked with in the past, including: Verbum Dei, Manual Arts, St. Bernard, Compton, Hawthorne, and Montebello high schools. All applicants submitted a scholarship application and supporting documents, including: an essay; a letters of reference from school and /or from their employers or community leaders; proof of college acceptance; high school transcript, and student aid report. The committee selected Arias based on her desire to pursue a STEM degree, financial need, academic performance, and leadership potential.

The Aerospace Corporation is a California nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 3,600 employees. It provides guidance and advice to military, civil and commercial customers to ensure the success of complex, technology-based programs. The Aerospace Corporation is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with multiple locations across the United States.

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