A passion for engineering that began in high school has led a University of Toledo senior to win this year’s Ohio Minority Engineering Student Scholarship.Demar Watkins, a senior majoring in civil engineering, won the $2,500 award for the 2012-13 school year; he is one of just two recipients in Ohio to receive the scholarship.
“I am very blessed, very excited about the scholarship. It helps out a lot and takes some of the financial burden off my parents,” Watkins said.
The scholarship is presented by the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus Foundation, the National Society of Black Engineers, CT Consultants Inc. and New Visions Group LLC. It is given for financial assistance and potential internship possibilities within the civil engineering programs at accredited Ohio colleges or universities.
“It just seems natural. I can see myself doing this after I graduate,” Watkins said about his major in civil engineering.
The scholarship is open to any African-American student with a 3.0 GPA in high school and a 2.5 while in college who is working toward a civil engineering degree.
Watkins encouraged students to apply for scholarships: “I would honestly just say you have to apply. A lot of people are skeptical about it and second-guess [scholarship offers], but you never know. Don’t shoot yourself down before you apply.”
His job at the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority ties in directly with his major. He is completing a co-op as an engineering intern.
“With civil engineering, there is a lot of project management skills, which is a lot like my responsibility at the port authority.”