We're excited to share another Scholarship Success Spotlight!
Our April spotlight is on Alexis Riche, GEM's first quarter 2019 scholarship recipient from Dallas, Texas. Alexis completed her undergraduate studies in Washington, D.C., while putting herself through school. She's now working toward a graduate degree in geology in Flagstaff, Arizona. As a first generation college student, she's come a long way. Alexis has moved around a lot, but no matter which state you find her in, she'll probably be typing avidly in a coffee shop.
My Current Work and Passion
My focus is on geochemistry, and I am currently working on two projects. One focuses on determining the source of uplift in the Colorado Plateau, which is currently unknown. The other focuses on bringing self-identified STEM students who may not have been exposed to geology before college into the fold. My ultimate goal is to teach geochemistry at a university level while conducting research I am passionate about. There is so much still to learn about the planet we live on, and I am excited to dedicate my life to unraveling a piece of the mystery and encouraging others to do the same. I especially think it is important to mentor students like me who, as first generation, did not really know how to go about continuing my education past high school and could really have benefited from a guiding hand.
What This Scholarship Means To Me
As a first generation college student, navigating academia has been difficult and expensive. I come from a relatively large family, and my parents couldn't afford to contribute to my college tuition or living expenses. Naive and in need, I took out thousands in student loans. This scholarship from GEM means that I can pay off some of that debt, which has been looming over me since I started this journey through higher education.
Why is STEM/geology important to you?
I chose geology because, unlike some other professional fields, it is completely exploratory. The chance to be a part of something that is so dynamic makes the prospect of working for the next several decades less intimidating or disheartening. Part of what makes geology so interesting is that it is truly applicable, because it is the study of the world we live in, and it integrates so many other sciences such as chemistry and physics. I also think that, as a woman and a first generation college student, it's important to represent those demographics within STEM fields.
Way to go, Alexis! We're proud to support your educational pursuits and wish you luck as you embark on your geological career.
Read more Scholarship Success Stories HERE.
Are you a STEM major? Consider applying for one of our scholarships! Visit our Scholarship page to learn more about eligibility and apply online.