Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Article #2591


Since 2011, NRG has given the NRG Chairman's Scholarship to high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, exemplary extracurricular performance, and exemplify NRG's core values. The scholarship honors Howard E. Cosgrove, NRG's first Chairman of the Board and a dedicated champion of education. It is available to students of NRG employees.

Scholarship recipients in 2022:
  • Darshan Lakshimarayanan, Rutgers University Physics
  • Sala Tran-Huu, University of Houston, Computer Science
In addition to recognizing this year's winners, we followed up with several previous winners to learn how the award has impacted their lives.

We also found out where previous recipients are on their journeys.
  • Hinojosa, Zenetta
The University of Texas at San Antonio offers a BS in Psychology with minors in Neuroscience and Biology.

Graduation Year - 2025

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My hometown is Corpus Christi, Texas. Painting, reading, and trying to make a better cup of chai tea are some of my favorite things to do in my spare time.

Tell us about your current career goals and/or achievements.
“After I graduate from UTSA, I hope to gain admission into a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. My future goal is to have my own research lab at a university and a private practice. To foster these ambitions, I have joined two psychology labs at UTSA focusing on identity development in minority populations. Last summer, I had the opportunity to conduct behavioral neuroscience research at The University of Pennsylvania in the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation,” said Hinojosa, Zenetta.

How has receiving the Chairman's Scholarship benefited you?
The NRG Chairman's Scholarship has allowed me to pursue not only my educational goals, but also my educational interests. People are often hesitant to pursue their dreams because they are afraid of failing and the consequences of failing. Although this scholarship is helpful, the faith and reassurance it instills is a constant source of support. I'm a better student now, but more importantly, I'm a stronger learner.

What advice would you give to those thinking about applying for the scholarship?
Students applying for the scholarship should demonstrate that they have goals other than success. How will your unique abilities benefit others? Education is the key to unlocking our full potential. Keep in mind that your work is valuable.

How do you help others progress in their journeys?
Gratitude is one of our most valuable characteristics as humans. Whenever I am feeling lost or overwhelmed, I make a list of things that I can appreciate, no matter how big or small. If someone close to me is feeling stuck, the first thing I suggest is that they try encouraging or serving someone else. We frequently overlook how much we inspire one another and how important positivity can be on our journeys. Serving others is a safe haven in times of regret, intimidation, or worry.

Sam Dietrich Harvey Mudd College BS Engineering with an emphasis in Electrical / Computer Engineering

Graduation Year - 2017

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Houston, Texas, and I recently relocated to the Seattle area. My one-year-old son enjoys hiking (when it isn't raining).

Tell us about your current career goals and/or achievements.
After graduation, I worked in Los Angeles for four years, developing hardware and software for experimental satellites and terrestrial research systems. I'm currently working at Microsoft on programmable hardware accelerators for Azure. I hope to expand my knowledge on both sides of the hardware/software divide.

How has receiving the Chairman's Scholarship benefited you?
The scholarship allowed me to attend my first-choice school, where I discovered my passion and was introduced to wonderful professors and opportunities. It made the potentially difficult decision of where to go to college much easier.

What advice would you give to those thinking about applying for the scholarship?
It is difficult to find motivation to submit additional applications on top of college applications, and I was hesitant to apply for some scholarships because the acceptance rates appeared to be low. The right scholarship is worth far more than the time it takes to apply for it. By not applying, you are effectively excluding yourself from the selection process before it has even begun. Allow the scholarship committee to decide if you are a good fit.

How do you encourage others to be creative?
Listening is the most effective way to empower those around you. Allowing someone to explain their ideas and asking insightful questions allows their ideas to fully develop. You frequently hear a new perspective that broadens your horizons and becomes a tool for your own innovations.

Bethany Holtz

Gettysburg College (BS), Saint Joseph’s University (MS)

BS and MS in Biology

Graduation Years - 2016, 2022

Tell us a little about yourself
I was born and raised in Medford Lakes, New Jersey. I adore my hometown in the Pinelands of New Jersey. In fact, I ran (and was defeated) for a seat on the Borough Council. Growing up in a lake town influenced my appreciation for nature and water. In high school, I participated in environmental science activities such as Envirothon and Science Olympiad. I majored in Environmental Science and Art Studio in college. A winter break spent volunteering at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ, cemented my desire to work in marine biology. My heart was set when I saw my first sea turtle while there.

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family, surf, fly my drone, post interior design creations on Instagram, and care for my marine habitat, a saltwater aquarium filled with clownfish, starfish, and various invertebrates.

Tell us about your current career goals and/or achievements.

I am currently the Outreach Manager at SEE Turtles, a non-profit dedicated to conservation and educating the public about sea turtles. I work on a variety of projects, including Sea Turtle Week, an annual international public awareness and education event held in June. I've done sea turtle research on the United States' southern Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean. I studied sea turtles and their nesting areas in remote locations while building field laboratories. My fieldwork has been published, and I've given talks at international sea turtle conferences.

I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in marine biology in order to advance in my field and continue my research projects. During this time, I hope to work on projects aimed at saving these endangered species. I also hope to engage and educate the public about issues concerning ocean conservation.

How has receiving the Chairman's Scholarship benefited you?
I was able to attend the college of my choice thanks to the NRG Chairman's Scholarship. I was able to attend a small liberal arts college where I could combine my interests in science and art. Being in a smaller school with fewer than 400 students allowed me to connect with professors on a more personal level and form meaningful relationships that have lasted to this day.

One of my professors introduced me to my first research opportunity with sea turtles. This research question spawned a number of projects that I am still working on. Other relationships encouraged me to pursue my passion for photography, which I have used to document animals and ecosystems.

What advice would you give to those thinking about applying for the scholarship?
Applying for the NRG Chairman's Scholarship is similar to applying for any other scholarship. I recommend putting your best foot forward and emphasizing what distinguishes you. Use the application to share what makes you unique and your interests.

Although grades and extracurricular activities are important, the Scholarship Committee also wants to know that they are investing in someone's future. Let the Scholarship Committee know what distinguishes you and what you hope to pursue in the future, and make that investment worthwhile.

How do you help others progress on their journey?
Now that I've advanced in the scientific field, I try to give back to others what I wish someone had told me when I was starting out in college.

For example, I was able to hire an assistant for my field research project this year. I enlisted the help of a young woman who had looked after my pet turtle and tortoise while I was away. (she was in high school at the time). I saw in her the same passion I had when I was her age. When the position of research assistant became available, she was a sophomore at Miami University studying marine biology and my first choice. I took her to St. Croix and introduced her to the less glamorous aspects of being a field scientist: long, hot, sticky days and sandy nights. It was an authentic on-the-ground experience, far from a classroom or university lab.

During graduate school, I assisted my lab mates in navigating state and federal permitting processes in order to conduct research on protected turtle species and develop research proposals. My NRG-funded Gettysburg College experience propelled me to the forefront of my chosen field. I am thankful for where I am and try to share my knowledge and experiences whenever possible.

Keeping up with the times
It's inspiring to follow these talented young leaders-in-the-making as they move forward with focus, a positive self-image, and optimism for the world they will soon inherit. NRG is proud to offer scholarships that contribute to our collective future.