B&W Y-12 scholarships support local future innovators

Posted: November 13, 2012 - 3:00pm

In its ongoing support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, B&W Y‑12 recently awarded $5,000 in scholarships split between Roane State Community College freshmen Wes Jenkins and Sara Lemmonds.

Recipients of the B&W Y‑12 STEM Scholarship must be full-time students at Roane State pursuing a degree in one of the STEM fields of study. Jenkins is a Harriman High School graduate and plans to major in biology. Lemmonds graduated from Oak Ridge High School and is enrolled in the college’s pre-med program.

If Jenkins’s career unfolds as planned, he’ll be teaching high school biology and nurturing new STEM students. He is intrigued by the body systems and how they work together. “I had several learning problems when I was younger. Earning this scholarship makes me feel like I have succeeded in overcoming them and recognizes my hard work to become a good student.”

Lemmonds particularly enjoys chemistry and aspires to be an oncologist. In high school she participated in a clinical internship that included a rotation at the Thompson Cancer Survival Center, where, she said, “I found my niche. This scholarship means the difference between achieving my dream of saving lives as a radiation oncologist and settling for something less.” She also dreams of helping find a cure for cancer.

B&W Y‑12 STEM Scholarship applicants submitted an essay addressing why a STEM education is important to them. Other factors for selection included high-school academic performance and extracurricular involvement. B&W Y‑12 commercialization manager Jeremy Benton initiated the scholarship and coordinated with the Roane State Foundation to establish the opportunity for incoming freshmen.

With firsthand awareness of the increasing workplace demand for individuals with scientific and technical skills, Benton realizes the importance of investing in a future work force. Confident that “providing students an incentive to pursue STEM fields of education helps ensure we have a new generation to lead in innovation and technology,” Benton believes that “offering the scholarship is a win not only for Y‑12 but also for our community and our country.”

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