By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
SOPREMA® remains family owned after more than 100 years in the business, something that you don’t see very often anymore. Jennifer Kramer, SOPREMA senior content strategist shared, “Throughout its history, the company has always been family oriented and focused on the enrichment of not just the business but of the whole person.” It was with that philosophy in mind that owner Pierre-Etienne Bindschedler approved the establishment of a scholarship program to support the future of the industry in the United States.
Tim Kersey, vice president and general manager of SOPREMA’s U.S. headquarters was a champion of establishing the scholarship. “He wants to make sure that we are leading in not just industry advancements but that we also are advancing and supporting the success of those who are coming up behind us in the industry,” explained Jennifer.
“We award four $5,000 scholarships each year to a student in the northeast, central, west and south regions in the U.S.,” said Jennifer. “The scholarship is open to any high school senior, undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in architecture, engineering, construction management or any field considered to be in the building envelope.” Students can even reapply for a chance to renew their award; SOPREMA has had one student earn back-to-back scholarships.
Selection criteria is based on the student’s academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, honors received, work experience, and online recommendations they receive from references. The scholarship is administered through Scholarship America, one of the largest designers and managers of scholarships. Jennifer works closely with Scholarship America to manage the selection each year.
“This year was a banner year in terms of applications; we saw a 7000 percent increase in the number received,” said Jennifer. “That was amazing to see. We adjusted our marketing outreach a bit to help target. My higher education background gave me a better insight into how to market a scholarship program and how to work with an administrator. We were able to attract applicants from all 50 states this year.”
The scholarship application period opens in October and students have until March 30 to submit their applications.
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