Carmen Gil’s journey began when her parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba. Thanks to her family’s efforts and sacrifices, Carmen is the first in her family to attend college in the U.S.
Growing up, Carmen always liked math and science. When it came time to enter college and decide upon a degree program, she set her sights on engineering, opening up a host of science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM) possibilities to her.
Carmen is currently in her junior year at the University of Florida, where she’s studying Chemical Engineering. According to Carmen, choosing a STEM-related major has offered her so much in her academic career and it’s something she truly enjoys.
“My STEM studies have offered tremendous opportunities, including the chance to travel around the world to Australia to perform cutting-edge research in energy technologies,” said Carmen. “But the best opportunity so far was receiving a scholarship that changed my life both financially and personally.”
In 2012, Carmen was awarded a Buick Achievers Scholarship, which is funded by the General Motors Foundation. As one of the largest scholarship programs in the nation, Buick Achievers places a strong focus on recognizing female, minority and other students who excel in the classroom and give back to their communities.
Established in 2011, the program has awarded approximately $16.5 million to 3,300 students across the country. This year, the program will award 100 scholarships of up to $25,000 per year, renewable for up to four years, or up to five years for qualified engineering programs. Students from the United States and Puerto Rico are eligible to apply.
“Thanks to Buick Achievers, I am doing what I love the most. The scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and pursue my passions without having to worry about how to pay for college.”
Today, Carmen once again is studying at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, where she is continuing her research in energy technologies.
Her hope is that more STEM students will pursue their passions and consider scholarship programs like Buick Achievers. “It really can change your life and what you set out to accomplish with your education.”