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AFE Engineering Scholarship Invests in Local Students and Industry

Thanks to a generous gift from the Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE), deserving engineering students at Three Rivers Community College will not have to face financial roadblocks en route to an Associate's degree and specialized job training.

On September 9, Brian Johnson, AFE Eastern Connecticut  - Chapter 122 president, and Larry Ellis, treasurer, presented TRCC President Grace S. Jones and Three Rivers College Foundation President Mark Ballestrini with a check for $50,000.

Johnson is the manager of engineering at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital; Ellis is the vice president of Brookwood Laminating.

The AFE scholarship, available in 2013 through the Foundation's Endowment Fund, will cover full tuition and fees for a student for one year. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an engineering discipline and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Included in the presentation was Patrick Rourke, an engineering student who was presented in May 2011 with AFE's current scholarship of $1,500.

"Because of the scholarships I received, I was able to stay in school full-time," he said.

Rourke, who is 51 and retired from the Navy, spoke of the challenges students face when trying to further their education while balancing home life and a full-time job. Without financial assistance from scholarship programs, completing a higher education degree often takes much longer than intended, he noted.

"I was lucky I was able to finish without [taking] a break," he said.

It's students like Rourke that AFE had in mind when they sought out a giving opportunity at Three Rivers.

According to Ellis, when AFE was looking at different academic institutions, providing a scholarship that would benefit area citizens and industry was key.

"We wanted to keep it local," he said.

Ellis' intentions resonate with President Jones.

"This is yet another organization that invests in the future of southeastern Connecticut's residents and the strength of our workforce," she said. "It's a win-win."

September 2011



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