Ds Scholarship

Culpeper 12th graders can apply for Amazon scholarship for STEM college study | Latest News

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT STAFF

Amazon Web Services is now accepting applications for its 2022 InCommunities Scholarship Program for high school seniors in California, Oregon, Ohio, and Virginia who plan to pursue a STEM-related subject at a higher education institution.

Students can apply from Culpeper County, one of just six Virginia localities invited to benefit from the program.

A total of $100,000 in scholarships is open to youth enrolling in courses such as electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, biochemistry, software engineering and physics.

The deadline to apply is March 29 for high school seniors in Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax counties and the city Manassas. Submit applications by 3 pm to https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/awsincommunities/

The InCommunities Program exists to make a positive impact through community-based programmes, specifically in regions where Amazon Web Services builds and operates its global infrastructure, according to a company release.

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More than 30 Virginia students earned a scholarship through this program last year, including Flavia Hannah Mendoza-Garcia, who is studying Computer Science at George Mason University in Fairfax.

The college student is passionate about a lot of subjects, ranging from environment-protecting robotics, creative coding for websites, and effective marketing for empanadas.

“I found it really hard to choose what to study,” Mendoza-Garcia said. “That’s why I experimented a lot with different courses in middle and high school. I took a computer science class and just fell in love with the subject.”

She realized a degree in computer science would allow her to cover a range of subjects, and open up future opportunities.

“I’ve been really inspired by an organization called The Ocean Cleanup, which uses solar powered ‘interceptors’ to autonomously extract plastic debris from rivers,” Mendoza-Garcia said.

Another of her passions is closer to home—her parents’ small businesses, most recently, My Bites Bakery, set up during the pandemic to sell homemade empanadas.

“I helped create the website. I really love connecting technology with creativity in this way,” said Mendoza-Garcia.

Growing up in Manassas, Allie Huszcza had an interest in engineering and science from an early age.

“I just love science,” she said. “It was always my favorite subject in school. My parents would buy me science kits and books when I was younger, which also helped to nurture my interest.”

Middle school teachers encouraged Huszcza to join the robotics club at her middle school, which led her to win first place in the Virginia state round of the global VEX robotics championship. The Manassas student then participated in the world championship at the age of 13.

“The experience of meeting people from all over the world who were also interested in robotics was eye-opening to me,” Huszcza said. “I realized how much demand there is for expertise in this area. The opportunities seemed to be endless.”

Now studying general engineering at Virginia Tech, she has turned her focus to biomedical engineering and will soon choose a major.

“I know that I want to use STEM to impact the world and help people,” Huszcza said. “I would like to go into the medical side of engineering. I think it’s an area where my work would make a positive difference.”

She was thrilled to be among those receiving an Amazon Web Services scholarship.

“I have three sisters, and we’re all pretty close in age,” the college student said. “Soon, my parents are going to have four college tuition bills, so having this extra financial support really helps them out.”

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