Bosch scholarships power students' career goals
Six District 214 seniors have earned up to $2,500 in Blueprint Bosch Vocational scholarships to pay for post-secondary education and training. The scholarships are aimed at helping students complete certification courses in areas such as welding, HVAC, plumbing, machining, automotive technology and carpentry. The Bosch Community Fund generously pledged a total of $45,000 to District 214 over three years to fund the scholarship for six winners annually.
This is the second year. This year's recipients are Marc Alejandro of Buffalo Grove High School; Alexis Castrejon of Rolling Meadows High School; Kevin Holm of Rolling Meadows High School; Thomas Malen of Prospect High School; Jose Torres of Rolling Meadows High School; and Philip Wozniak of John Hersey High School.
Marc, who will attend Illinois State University to study construction management, says the scholarship will allow him to focus more on his college studies with less pressure on repaying college loans. He is well-equipped for his future, having taken Project Lead The Way's Intro To Engineering and Design and Civil Engineering and Architecture. In the manufacturing realm, he also has taken College Advanced Machine Technology and College Advanced CNC Machining, along with College Practical Architecture and Construction.
Alexis is aiming for an automotive career. Having completed courses in auto systems and diagnostic testing and repair, his next stop is Triton College, where he will take a 2-year GM automotive program. "That will help get me a job at a dealership, which will boost my knowledge," he explained. Alexis' long-term goal is to open his own automotive shop, which would fulfill a lifelong dream. "I love cars," Alexis said. "I have since I was a kid."
Kevin plans to study automotive engineering technology for two years at Triton College before attending Ferris State University in Michigan. At Rolling Meadows, he prepared by taking auto systems and participating in Auto Club. He is currently building electric high-mileage vehicles to race in competitions. Kevin's goal is to become an automotive engineer working to improve safety and eventually to make all vehicles self-driving. Of the Bosch scholarship, Kevin said, "I will be able to worry less about student debt after college and I can focus more on my career."
Thomas's career goals focus on heavy equipment, an objective he will advance by attending Illinois Central College, which has a partnership with Caterpillar. The program consists of two years of study, enhanced by internships throughout. Thomas is well-prepared for his chosen career path because of the auto courses he has taken at Prospect and his extensive outside-of-school work of building a mini motorcycle and restoring motorcycles.
Jose will attend Harper College to study and prepare for a career in either construction or manufacturing because that, as he explained, "is what I love to do. I love to build and get my hands dirty on a project." He has prepared for his advanced education by taking advantage of a wide variety of courses at Rolling Meadows, including woodworking, manufacturing, autos and fabrication. While attending Harper, he plans to work part-time in a trade field.
Philip's focus is construction, with the ambitious goal of earning licenses in plumbing, electrical and carpentry. He plans to complete a certificate program through Harper and Triton colleges, focusing on business and construction technology. "I don't mind getting my hands dirty and putting in some sweat," Philip said. "I've given back to my school by staying long hours at auto club and welding and helping my teachers out with building something they can use that is beneficial to the classroom."
The scholarship asks applicants to discuss their career goals and inspiration, and requests they talk about a time they gave back -- an area of importance at Bosch. The scholarship was the first of its kind regionally when it launched last year, offering an opportunity for students in the trades to progress more easily through college.
"We are so grateful to Bosch for this commitment to funding the future for our students," said Erin Holmes, executive director of the District 214 Education Foundation, which created the scholarship with Bosch and oversees the funding. "Our students all have different dreams and different goals, and opportunities like this ensure each is prepared for success."