Providing opportunities and support to the next generation allows us to invest in the future and to remember the people who provided those opportunities for us in the past. In 2017, we established the Open Rivers Scholarship at my alma mater, Bethel High School. The scholarship focuses on women pursuing education and careers in the STEM fields. It coincided (unintentionally) with the 20 year anniversary of my graduation and afforded me the chance to see part of the future that was springing forth from my hometown.
Several people asked me: Why establish the scholarship now? Why when I’m at this point in my life and when I'm facing great inherent risk with new business ventures? When I was a student, I benefited from the generosity and support of countless others who stepped forward. I wanted a chance to give back in some way. I thought back to a speech Bill Gates gave to our inaugural cohort of Gates Scholars at Cambridge. He explained why his gift and the establishment of the program was done during his lifetime and pointed out that he gets a chance to meet those who benefit, sees the paths they forge and the impact they drive. It stayed with me since then, and I vowed to do what I could whenever I could. I benefited because someone else had thought this way.
Soon, we will feature an interview with one of our first recipients - an inspiring, passionate and thoughtful woman who wants to address the world’s toughest problems through mechanical engineering.
If you are interested in the scholarship or supporting this effort, please contact us. We find we are only better when more minds are involved.