Many high school graduates across the country are savoring the last taste of summer break before embarking on an exciting new chapter of college life. For 50 of those graduates who earned a Georgia-Pacific Foundation Employees’ Children Scholarship, the burden of college tuition just got lighter.
Since Georgia-Pacific’s scholarship program began 25 years ago, it has awarded 1,300 scholarships totaling nearly $10.5 million to its employees’ children. Each year, the award is given to 50 students, and equals $2,000 per year for up to four years of full time undergraduate study, for a maximum award of $8,000.
Maliha Manzoor, a 2013 scholarship recipient from Lawrenceville, Ga., isn’t wasting any time getting a jump start on her college education. Here she shares her career passion and how the Georgia-Pacific scholarship will help her achieve her goals:
You’re pursuing mechanical engineering and robotics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. How did you get interested in this field?
"While in high school I didn't think too much about robotics but after I had an engineering internship in Lahore, Pakistan, at the Lahore University of Management Sciences when I was 16, I joined my school's robotics team. I was in the all-girls VEX robotics team during my junior and senior year of high school and basically fell in love with the idea of creating a machine out of various parts that could do the same tasks as a human could do."
Why do you think there are so few young girls and women pursuing science and math?
"Science and math are very male-dominated, and I think this is because of the technology push that has been very stereotypical of a "man's job" in society. I, however, strive to encourage women to become leaders in the fields of math and science through the outreach that I have done in the Women in Science and Engineering program at my school. If some girls think that these subjects are "uncool" that is fine and they can believe what they want. If they're not passionate about it then they should find something that they are passionate about and pursue that dream."
Whom do you admire?
"I admire my older brother Bilal. I really look up to him as he also attends Georgia Tech and I always go to him for advice when I'm struggling at school. Although he would rather be a doctor than an engineer, I find his opinion the most valuable to achieve my future goals."
What are your plans this summer?
"My plans for the summer involve getting a head start in school. I'm currently taking the maximum number of classes that I can take as a freshmen entering college during the summer so that I have more time in the future to enroll in internships and study abroad."