The Carpe Diem Women’s STEM Scholarship has been established with the Moraine Valley Community College Foundation to support women who want to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a current or incoming female student majoring a STEM field at Moraine Valley.
Brittany Keith, who works in information technology (IT) in the automotive industry, created the scholarship to help other women get STEM-related jobs.
“The automotive industry is a male-dominated industry, as is IT. Combine them, and there are many times I’m the only woman in a meeting,” said Keith, a product manager for Volkswagen. “I definitely see the need for more diversity in these industries. That’s why I felt it was a good opportunity for me to establish a scholarship for STEM and for women.”
She worked with the Moraine Valley Foundation to establish the scholarship during the pandemic because she wanted to help others.
“I am lucky that I am in the position to do so – especially during this hard time. COVID has impacted us all in various ways, so I felt it was a good time to start something and give back to the community.”
Keith, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, who later earned an MBA from Duke University, chose to start the scholarship at Moraine Valley because she believes students at community colleges come from varied backgrounds.
“I liked the idea that this scholarship could help someone who couldn’t go to a four-year school or perhaps was going back to school because she was a single mom,” she said.
The scholarship’s recipient must show evidence of volunteerism.
“I think volunteering in your community teaches you a lot, and I feel giving back through volunteering shows a lot about someone’s character,” said Keith, who has a strong personal commitment to volunteering.
Keith named the Carpe Diem Women’s STEM Scholarship in honor of the phrase her mother would often say to her and her sister while they were growing up.
“We were raised that we should seize every day to the best of our ability. I think the name is fitting because for a woman to get into STEM, there are naturally more hurdles,” Keith said. “I hope the scholarship helps whoever receives it to expand their knowledge and be their best self.”
For more information on creating a scholarship at Moraine Valley, contact Kristy McGreal, executive director of the Moraine Valley Foundation, at email@example.com.