BROCKTON, Mass. — NorthEast Electrical has celebrated the winners of its spring scholarship program for eligible graduating high school seniors in the New England region. The program was designed by NorthEast Electrical’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to demonstrate support for the trades and encourage workforce diversification in the vocational fields.
Frank Marandino, President of NorthEast, said, “We are thrilled to invest in these young adults’ education and bright futures and look forward to creating more opportunities for NorthEast to be a socially responsible organization — making a positive impact in the communities we serve.”
All applicants were asked to write a short essay answering the question, “What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to you?” Winners were presented with their scholarship awards at the following branches: New London, CT; Brockton, MA; New Bedford, MA; Biddeford, ME; Dover, NH; and Providence, RI.
“The response to our DEI Scholarship was amazing, we had close to 100 submissions,” said Kathy O’Rourke, HR Director. “The essays were insightful and personal. It was very hard to select only 13 winners.
“We’re very excited to open the scholarship program again in February 2023,” said O’Rourke.
Here are excerpts from five of the powerful essays.
“Seeing young activists advocating on social justice, stepping on stage, crying out their souls, gave me the desire to stand up for my family. Since my parents can’t defend themselves by not speaking English, I have to be the protector.”
“I would have sleepovers and some kids would be surprised I had soap and tell me how lucky I was. These memories never leave my mind and motivate me to volunteer for the youth of Brockton. I dream to make every child feel welcome, equal and included regardless of their skin, disabilities, challenges or anything else.”
“I have personally experienced harassment on a job site. There have been multiple occasions where men have acted both unprofessionally and inappropriately. At work, I am often questioned when performing a certain task and asked if I ‘really know what I am doing.’ The uncertainty of others around me along with being underestimated on a regular basis is certainly degrading and difficult to endure.”
“I happen to be white, but my cousins, aunt and uncle are black and biracial. Throughout my upbringing, I’ve learned about how society treats those who are different. I can’t claim that I know how they feel, but I do have empathy for how some of my family members have been treated.”
“Equity provides people of different backgrounds the resources needed to share their uniqueness and lead to positive outcomes for all. When I was preschool age, I had speech impediment due to me being tri-lingual: Taiwanese, Mandarin, and English, and I was given help from the town to prepare me for school. The town was willing to allocate me resources due to my special circumstances, and I became a top student.”