This morning, 10 South Florida Class of 2022 high school graduates were each surprised with a $20,000 scholarship for Black students in STEM, from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and parent company NextEra Energy. Recipients from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties were greeted at the Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale and presented with big checks, hats and university swag, courtesy of FPL
The NextEra Energy Scholarship for Black Students in SECME: A merit award of up to $20,000 for college-bound high school seniors who have at least one year of experience volunteering in the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME) and plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. The reward will be $5,000 per year, renewable for up to three years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first.
These are the recipients:
- Isaac Valeris: A Pompano Beach resident, Isaac was a member of several organizations throughout high school in addition to his participation in SECME, namely the Pre-Engineering Magnet Program and the Drone Club, among others. He will be attending the Broward College in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering. Valeris credits SECME for helping him better understand the core values of a STEM professional.
- Alfonzo L. Yates: Alfonzo, who lives in Pompano Beach, shared that SECME allowed him to converge his passions for arts and science while discovering potential STEAM career paths. His love for STEAM drove him to commit to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T), where he will pursue a career in Visual Design.
- Christopher D. Williams: A Davie student and Broward County resident, Christopher credits SECME for exposing him to a diverse support system that went on to become tight-knit friend group for him and his peers. Christopher has committed to University of Florida and plans to pursue a career in Computer Engineering.
- Seth A. Solomon: Broward County’s Seth Solomon was a member of several organizations in addition to SECME, namely the Junior Academy of Science, the Black Student Union and track & field. He will be attending N.C. A&T in the fall to pursue a career in Physics and aims to create innovative solutions for long-term climate change issues.
- Sarah Habona: A Parkland resident, Sarah will be a first-generation college student pursuing Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. SECME allowed Sarah to grow her skillsets through hands-on application of engineering design principles. This application drove her and her peers to win first place titles within her local Drone League, the Palm Beach County SECME competition and the regional Science/Engineering fair.
- Shon L. Barthell: With dreams of one day working for NASA or a nanotechnology company, Shon is aHialeah resident and will be a first-generation college student. SECME allowed Shon to discover his passions for robotics and engineering while cultivating his critical thinking and team collaboration skills. In the fall, Shon will attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
- Mia L. Handfield: Mia, who lives in Opa Locka, dreams to one day open her own dental practice in Overtown and increase access to oral health services in underserved communities. Though SECME, Mia discovered her passion for biomedical engineering and its role in combatting illness, leading her to commit to Tennessee State University in pursuit of a dental career.
- Jordon D. Robinson: Broward County’s Jordon Robinson was involved in the Junior Academy of Science, the Black Student Union, the National Honors Society and various sports in addition to SECME. Jordon’s SECME experience allowed him to refine his design and problem-solving skills, driving him to commit to N.C. A&T and pursue a career in Graphic Design.
- Zoe O. McCrae: With dreams of one day starting her own pediatric practice, Zoe from Royal Palm Beachcredits SECME for helping her cultivate her pediatric passions. Throughout high school, she was also involved with HOSA-Future Health Professionals and the Medical Science Academy, allowing her to grow professionally while giving back to her community. Zoe will be attending the University of Miami to pursue a career in healthcare.
- Malik A. Henry: Malik, from Lake Worth, was introduced to SECME during his freshman year and went on to become both the President and Vice President of his school’s chapter. Malik also served as the President and Vice President of Royal Palm Beach High School’s robotics team, leading him to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Central Florida.