Joliet Junior College and the CITGO Lemont Refinery have partnered together to invest in the future of STEM students through the establishment of a $250,000 endowment generously donated by CITGO to the Joliet Junior College Foundation.
As part of that endowment, two JJC students each received a $2,000 scholarship this year: Matthew Lane, who is currently pursuing two associate degrees in Industrial Maintenance Technology Electrical/Electronics Automated Systems, and Kayla Storme, who is majoring in Operations Engineering Technology with the goal of a career in chemical engineering.
“We are incredibly grateful for this partnership with CITGO, and appreciate their investment in the future careers of our students,” said Executive Director of the Foundation Kristi Mulvey. “Not only are Matthew and Kayla the first of many students who will receive scholarships through CITGO’s generous donation, but we were also able to fund a new STEM academy administered by our Corporate and Community Services division, which will ensure children as young as kindergarten are educated in the wonders and possibilities of the STEM field.”
The CITGO scholarship will be awarded annually to four or five JJC students in one of the following majors: Process Control Instrumentation, Operations Engineering Technology, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Electrical/Electronic Automated Systems, Process Operations Technology or the dual credit high school program ― Advanced Integrated Manufacturing.
Applicants can be either part- or full-time students, and must demonstrate a financial need and exhibit community involvement through volunteer activities.
The partnership between JJC and CITGO originated thanks to the foresight of Will County Executive Larry Walsh. Sr., a JJC alumni and long-time advocate of the college.
“During 2016 we began discussions with Will County Executive Larry Walsh, Sr. on how CITGO could make a positive impact in Will County by investing in the next generation of leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We concluded that a scholarship endowment would serve as the best conduit for workforce development and job opportunities for the residents of Will County,” said Jim Cristman, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.
According to Walsh, JJC, the nation’s first public community college, offers a wide variety of opportunities with regard to STEM education because employment forecasts predict significant growth in technology occupations.
“CITGO has been an excellent community partner for many years. Through this generous scholarship, students will be able to further their education in various areas of technology. I congratulate Kayla and Matthew as the first recipients, and wish them much luck in their future studies and careers,” said Walsh.
For more information about partnership opportunities with JJC, please visit: http://www.jjc.edu/foundation/Pages/default.aspx