Congratulations to José Membreno and Wilson DeLeon, who were recently chosen for a new Pepco scholarship program for Hispanic youth who aspire to be engineers. As Pepco scholars, they will each receive $5,000 a year in scholarship funds and will participate in internships each summer with engineers at Pepco. We are so proud of these stand-out students!

José attends Montgomery College and participates in LAYC’s Post-Secondary Success Program (PSSP). The goal of most college access programs is getting admitted, but PSSP takes it a step further, focusing on both enrollment and retention. PSSP provides access to skill-building workshops, mentoring and case management, and an on-campus community focused on ensuring that they succeed. Jose remembers meeting an engineer in his native El Salvador when he was in 7th grade who encouraged him to make learning a fundamental part of his life. He took that advice to heart. With 28 college credits already under his belt (some from LAYC’s Bard College program), he’s well on his way to his goal of transferring to a four-year college and earning a degree in electrical engineering. He says the Pepco scholarship will be a big help, especially if he’s accepted to his dream school, MIT!

Wilson graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in June and is headed for Montgomery College in the fall. Born in Guatemala, his parents brought him to the US when he was seven, seeking a better life for their family. He quickly learned English and, when he started high school, he received support and encouragement in LAYC’s Tiger Scholars Program, which operates on-site at Wilson. He remembers getting urgent texts about the Pepco scholarship application, and, even more vividly, an evening phone call from Debbi Jarvis, Pepco’s Director of Community Relations, to tell him he’d won and invite him to accept his award at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gala. According to Wilson, the night was “unforgettable,” but he’s even more excited about his summer internship, where he’s working side-by-side with Pepco engineers.

“Pepco is proud to have two LAYC youth in our first cohort of the Pepco Hispanic Student Engineering Scholarship and Internship program,” said Jarvis. “The ultimate goal” of the program, she added, is to “consider each scholar for employment once they have completed our program and graduated from college.”

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