Five Northwest Vista College students were awarded scholarships of $2,100 each for two semesters through funding from the Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund.
Luz Araguz Chavira, Clarissa Guillen, Amanda Martin, Sheina McManus, and Madeline Ovideo were the scholarship recipients.
Luz is a first-generation student in her sophomore year. Her pre-major is Environmental Science and she plans to transfer to either the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas – Austin or the College of Science from the University of Texas - San Antonio.
Clarissa works full time, is active in MISS (Minorities in Shark Science), < https://www.misselasmo.org/index.html > and is also studying Environmental Science. She is passionate about shark research and would like to continue to grad school after she completes her bachelor’s degree.
Amanda is a full-time mother, first-generation college student, and sophomore Environmental Studies pre-major at NVC. She plans to transfer to UTSA’s new Environmental Studies BA degree program. Amanda said, “not only has this funding elevated my chances of success, it has also elevated the chances of my daughter’s success. Being able to witness their mother graduate college and earn a degree will make their college paths a little easier.”
Sheina is from Ireland, is a mother to two, and is pursuing an Associate’s degree in Geography and Environmental Sustainability. She plans to transfer to UTSA’s Geography program when she is done at NVC.
Madeline is a freshman at NVC studying Geography, with plans to graduate and transfer to a four-year university, but she does not know which one yet. She joins a long line of Alamo Colleges students in her family.
NVC has pre-majors and transfer advising guides for those who want to study online and transfer to UTSA with an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Environmental Science, Associate of Arts (AA) in Environmental Studies, or the AA in Geography and Environmental Sustainability.
NVC also has advising guides for those wanting to transfer to Texas State University’s Geography program. Another round of scholarships for those studying in the areas will be available for the fall semester of 2023.
According to the US Department of Labor’s O*Net, Environmental Science and Protection jobs are “Bright Outlook occupations” that are “expected to grow rapidly in the next several years and will have large numbers of job openings.”
Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor Statistics lists the 2020 median pay for environmental scientists and specialists at $73,230/year. For geographers, the median pay is $85,430 per year.
By Scott L. Walker, ScEdD
Professor/Coordinator, Geography & Environmental Studies
International Faculty Fellow, Office of International Programs