STEM internships lead to scholarships

Two YSU Student Success Stories in Youngstown State University's College of STEM.

TaiJaune Robinson, left, and Cheyenne Cato

Industrial engineering major TaiJaune Robinson and pre-med major Cheyenne Cato gained valuable career-related work experience this summer while earning YSU scholarships, thanks to a new STEM Outreach Initiative Program at YSU.

Funded by a $20,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation, the program provides internships for qualifying high school students making plans to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Those who complete their internships receive $1,500 scholarships, if they enroll in a STEM-related discipline at YSU.

Martin Abraham, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, said the program was recommended by the STEM College Advisory Council as a way to build better connections with local school districts. “Our goal is to assist first-generation college goers and to help them understand the opportunities that a STEM major can provide,” Abraham said. “Our partnership with the Youngstown City Schools provides a unique opportunity to collaborate for the benefit of our students and the city.”

Robinson, a Youngstown Early College graduate and Youngstown resident, interned at M-7 Technologies, where she practiced measurement technology and 3-D design and worked on a special project for the company. The internship was extended, and she has continued to work for M-7 Technologies this fall while enrolled in YSU’s Industrial Engineering program.

“Working in my field with engineers everyday has helped me to confirm that this is really what I want to do,” Robinson said. “Receiving the scholarship was a definite bonus, too. I am truly thankful for this opportunity.”

Cato, also a Youngstown resident and Early College grad, served her internship at St. Elizabeth Health Center, where she worked directly with patients. “I’m interested in becoming a doctor,” she said. “This internship was beneficial because it allowed me to experience working in a hospital environment.”

Two Chaney STEM High School students, Drucella Garcia and Timothy Sharp, also completed internships under the STEM Outreach Initiative Program. Both are scheduled to graduate in June 2013 and will be awarded scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year, should they choose to enroll at YSU in a STEM-related major.

For more information on the STEM Outreach Initiative, contact YSU’s College of STEM at 330-941-2912.