More than $1.8 million in scholarship dollars were awarded to 83 students in the North Central Washington region to pursue STEM and health care degrees in Washington state through the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS). Seventeen of those scholarships are going to Wenatchee School District students for a total of $382,500.
WSOS prepares Washington students for Washington jobs by reducing barriers for low- and middle-income students to pursue high-demand science, technology engineering, math (STEM) or health care degrees at eligible Washington state colleges and universities. Each student will receive up to $22,500 in scholarship dollars, as well as mentorship and professional development to support the launch of their career in Washington state.
The 2019 Opportunity Scholars are the eighth group of students to be awarded this competitive scholarship. This cohort of 1,850 students hails from every legislative district and county in Washington state. Over 65% are first-generation college students, 53% are female and 68% are students of color.
Selecting Scholars whose intended majors align with projected job openings is one way in which WSOS maximizes the state investment in education by responding strategically to workforce needs. The highest number of scholarships were awarded to students intending to study engineering (29%), biology & biomedical sciences (21%), computer science (19%) and nursing (15%).
$1,867,500.00 will be awarded to students from the following schools in North Central Washington:
Brewster School District: 1 Student
Bridgeport School District: 3 Students
Cascade School District: 4 Students
Cashmere School District: 9 Students
Chelan School District: 1 Student
Eastmont School District: 5 Students
Ephrata School District: 2 Students
Grand Coulee Dam School District: 4 Students
Liberty Bell School District: 1 Student
Manson School District: 6 Students
Moses Lake School District: 9 Students
Okanogan School District: 1 Student
Omak School District: 5 Students
Pateros School District: 1 Student
Quincy School District: 6 Students
Tonasket School District: 6 Students
Warden School District: 2 Students
While the demand for talent in these fields remains high, so does the need for financial aid, as low- and middle-income students continue to face overwhelming tuition and living costs.
Since 2016, the Apple STEM Network has partnered with WSOS to promote the program and increase the number of local applicants. The Apple STEM Network championed a workshop for school counselors in collaboration with the North Central Education Service District to increase awareness and enthusiasm for this opportunity. The Apple STEM Network Directors also visited local high school scholarship events, providing information and materials on the opportunity directly to students and their families.
“Get ready for some incredibly talented students in North Central Washington! This year’s WSOS scholars are coming from districts throughout the region and majoring in fields from agriculture or healthcare to computer science. Once again, a greater number of scholarships are being awarded to our region, and we really have to recognize the efforts of the school counselors, teachers, staff and community partners who championed the scholarship outreach this past winter” said Dr. Sue Kane, Co-Director for the Apple STEM Network. “It’s truly exciting to see the collective impact that is possible when we come together for the betterment of students!”