Basking Ridge, New Jersey, July 15, 2020 – Collabera is pleased to announce the 2020 recipient of the fourth annual Collabera STEM Scholarship. The scholarship awards one female high school student with $2500 to put towards her Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) education for the 2020-2021 academic year.
As one of the leading technologies and talent solutions providers, Collabera passionately supports future STEM students. They want STEM scholars to have increased opportunity to further their education —especially those who identify as female — as they continue to face underrepresentation in the community. In 2019, Built By Me, noted that women constitute almost 50% of the labor market, in which only 28% of the female population work in a STEM-related field.
As women continue to enter the STEM community, Collabera wants to improve contributions by the current generation of STEM leaders, and to encourage more women to be part of the STEM community. All applicants were asked to submit a one-page essay in which they answered the following: What progression for the women in STEM community would you like to see in the next ten years? How do you plan to contribute to those advancements?
The winner of the 2020 Collabera STEM Scholarship is Maria Reitz, a female student from Michigan, who is committed to take her passion for leaning into the next phase of her life.
2020 Collabera STEM Scholarship Winner: Maria Reitz
Maria Reitz is a recent high school graduate who plans to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. During her high school journey, Maria has always emerged as a leader. Whether it was in her leadership skills or her recognition as an AP National Scholar and National Merit Finalist, Maria has worked hard to set herself apart from the rest.
As Maria reflected in her essay, she wrote how she frequently witnessed gender disparity, especially in her engineering and computer programming courses in high school. Her male classmates would always say that she had a higher chance of being accepted to top engineering programs than them, because she is a biracial female. She believes that if people continue to have that mindset, women will continuously be seen as unusual in the STEM community. Even though there are many challenges that women still face in the STEM community, Maria strongly believes that women who are currently in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics field must actively challenge the stereotypes underlying the current gender disparity in scientific fields. She encourages them to do so whether by speaking up against sexism in the workplace or being an advocate for gender equality in all aspects of the workplace.
One of Maria’s goals is to help contribute to the progression of gender equality, especially in the STEM fields. Even though she is pursuing a career in Aerospace Engineering, she is already explicitly helping advance that goal, but is planning to take a step further and seek career advancement wherever possible. She plans to be an active member of the Society of Women Engineers, the American Association of University Women, and Million Women Mentors, all organizations dedicated to supporting women in STEM. After obtaining her Aerospace degree, Maria plans to continue being an advocate in the community and to continuously help confront the implicit gender bias that exists.
“We are extremely excited to have Maria be the recipient of our first female focused STEM Scholarship,” said Dawn Serpe, Vice President and head of the Collabera Women’s Leadership Advisory Board. “I’m truly thrilled to see a young student so passionate about becoming an advocate in the STEM community. Females continue to be underrepresented and we hope that Maria and others can help contribute to the progression,” she said.
Collabera is proud to support the next generation of STEM leaders. Congratulations to Maria Reitz, the 2020 Collabera STEM Scholarship recipient.
For more information about the scholarship or Collabera, please visit www.collabera.com
Collabera’s comprehensive technology and talent solutions enable organizations to drive growth. While our clients’ success is at the center of everything we do, so is our ability to ensure that they are always future ready. Collabera works with 70% of the Fortune 500 companies across the Banking, Financial Services, Technology, Communication Services and Healthcare Life Sciences industries. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, Collabera has over 16,000 professionals across 10 countries, 70 offices and 3 global delivery centers.