To demonstrate our company’s commitment to education and economic development in the countries we operate in, in October, we held our 8th Annual Scholarship Award Ceremony, where university students from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America received recognition for their academic achievement. Over the past eight years, Evertec has awarded over $1 million to 876 outstanding students pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels, rewarding their academic excellence and community engagement.
Our Scholarship Program was launched in May 2015 and is currently one of the core pillars of our company’s social responsibility initiative. “We firmly believe that education provides people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to be successful and build a sustainable future. By contributing to education, we provide the fundamental tools for the progress of our communities and society,” stated Alexandra López, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Evertec.
One of the great accomplishments of Evertec’s Scholarship Program is that, for the third year in a row, over 50% of our program’s participants are women in STEM, maintaining a 1:1 women-to-men ratio within the scholarship applicants. This is important because the integration of women in STEM careers is a fundamental step in decreasing the digital gap between men and women globally. In fact, the challenge is even greater considering the report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in March of 2021, which stated that COVID-19 has exacerbated gender inequality worldwide. According to the publication, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised new barriers to building inclusive and prosperous economies and societies. Pre-existing gender gaps amplified during the pandemic asymmetrically between men and women. Before COVID, the gender gap was expected to close in 99 years. Now, the forecast is that it will take more than 135 years for equality to be achieved.1 Alexandra remarked that, given the situation, “Now more than ever, we need companies like ours, which foster diversity, equality, and inclusion to provide opportunities for women to be part of the workforce.”
The awardees will receive a $1,000 scholarship toward their 2022–2023 college tuition. The candidates include students from the general population of Puerto Rico, as well as Evertec employees and their children residing in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America. At Evertec, we also have an Internship Program that offers third- and fourth-year university students the opportunity to obtain real-life experience in the professional world. More than 130 students from 31 universities in Puerto Rico and the United States have participated in this program since 2015, and it is also available to the recent scholarship awardees.
Scholarship Awardees Share Their Experience
The scholarship campaign slogan this year was El futuro que sueñas es posible (“The future you dream of is possible”). This captured the interest of mostly science and technology students, based on the applications received. The Scholarship Award Ceremony featured the participation of Dr. Gian Villamil, who received a scholarship from our company twice during his doctorate studies and is now a meteorologist, a Python programmer, and the Deputy Project Manager and System Developer Team Lead at GAMA-1 Technologies. Villamil shared his experience and talked about the importance of science and technology within his line of work.
Meanwhile, in the interest of learning more about the students’ opinions, awardees were asked to describe what it meant for them to receive our scholarship. Below, we have shared some of the awardees’ answers:
1 – How long will it take to close the global gender gap? | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)