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Medtronic and SHPE Foundation unveils their first grant for Latino students in STEM subjects


Grantees will receive up to $25,000 in scholarship to meet tuition fees and other expenses.

Veronica Borras-Serrano was delighted and relieved to know that she has been selected as a scholarship recipient for the first class of Medtronic and SHPE Foundation grants.

"My parents had health issues that put me in a lot of debt to my family," said Borras-Serrano. She went on to explain that this has had an impact on her schooling finances.

“So with the help of the Medtronic Foundation, I can pay my tuition and focus on other things that I need for school.”

She is one of 16 beneficiaries of financial aid. The foundation has partnered with the Hispanic Latino Network (HLN), a Medtronic employee group, to collaborate with the Hispanic Professional Engineers Association (SHPE). Together, they identify candidates who are qualified to represent the future of Latinos in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Students will receive up to $25,000 in tuition and other expenses.

Borras-Serrano, a student at the University of Puerto Rico, will use the money to study industrial engineering. This could potentially lead to a career she said.

Guillermo A Rullán, a freshman at the University of Puerto Rico, also wants to use the scholarship to prepare for a changing future. "I've always wanted to build cars that make the world a better place," said Roulland. “I want to help because Puerto Rico is beautiful and valuable.”

Rullán and Borras-Serrano represent many young people who want to explore STEM opportunities but face barriers such as lack of role models, lack of communication and access.

The Medtronic Foundation ScholarSHPE program is part of a larger initiative to improve the lives of marginalized and underserved communities. To that end, the foundation works with HLN to open new horizons for Latin Americans like Rullán and Borras-Serrano and help them build a brighter future.

Gerardo Zuniga, director of project management for core quality services and part of the HLN leadership team, is working with the Medtronic Foundation and SHPE to recruit volunteers to mentor and train grantees.

“The foundation helps students solve access challenges while HLN creates a vision for existing representatives of the field to inspire the next generation”, explained Zuniga.

He went on to add, “SHPE calls its members La Familia. Family is very important to Hispanics, and SHPE is our extended family. So with Medtronic staff volunteers mentoring scientists, we are now part of La Familia."

In addition to targeted mentoring, the first class of Medtronic ScholarSHPE Foundation recipients will benefit from community building and targeted networking events.

“I want this valuable support to continue”, said Borras-Serrano. “I encourage Latino students to apply for this opportunity. It already means a lot to me."

To know more about the Medtronic Foundation's SHPE scholarships please click here.