VASBA 2019 Scholarship Recipients

Meet some of our VASBA Scholarship recipients! Learn more about their paths of study, connections to the community and next steps towards their future in STEM.

Daniel Roberts

Daniel is a student at Averett University and writes:
"My career interest in Aviation has continued to grow on me since being a young child. Since elementary school, my father and I have sat at the local Blue Ridge Regional Airport twice a year after the NASCAR race finished at Martinsville Speedway and watched several luxurious private jets depart into the sky one after the other. During those times, I encouraged myself to make decisions about a career that I thought would make me the happiest, and I knew flying airplanes would be at the top of the list. I took my first flight lesson at Danville Regional Airport at General Aviation and knew from that moment forward that I wanted to make a career of it. After earning my Private Pilot Certificate, I enrolled at Averett University. I am now majoring in Aerospace Management with a concentration in Flight Operations with a 3.0 Grade Point Average. I am a native of Martinsville, Virginia. In August, I earned my Instrument Rating and now I am currently flying towards earning my Commercial Pilot Certificate."

DeAyrra Greene

DeAyrra is a student at Virginia State University and writes:
"My name is DeAyrra Greene. I am a junior at Virginia State University, double majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. In spring 2019, I started working with Professor Nara Farhat on a data analysis research project. The project utilizes R studio to organize data and create complex graphs. I am currently interning with Penn State University's Applied Research Lab. For my project, I have been using machine learning classifiers to predict aircraft operators and testing the model's accuracy with multiple metrics. During summer 2018, I had training with the Southern Initiative Algebra Project (SIAP) to build upon teaching, mentoring and soft skills. I will be continuing more training with SIAP in August. Last semester I was a member of M-Squared, which is a campus organization that tutors and mentors students from K-12. During my free time, I volunteer at Hickory Hill Community Center helping with various activities and programs. Lastly, I am a childcare provider for infants and toddlers at Childtime in Mechanicsville. Overall, I am hardworking, dedicated to my studies and giving back to the community."

Devika Jones

Devika is a student at Norfolk State University and writes:
"As a devoted and enthusiastic individual, I have had the privilege of sharing my gifts of service, wisdom, astuteness, and problem-solving with many people. I was honored with the opportunity to be a team captain on my middle and high school basketball teams and was also Vice President of I.C. Norcom's National English Honor Society. Because of the benevolence of the Beazley Foundation I had the privilege of obtaining thirty-one college credits, before leaving high school, by way of Portsmouth Public Schools' First College Program.
In the Summer of 2016, I was thrilled to discover I was chosen by Portsmouth Redevelopment Housing Authority as an Assistant Teacher for their Summer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Camp. It was exhilarating working with our future scholars, helping them learn and love science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
I have had the privilege of volunteering in various capacities and locations. For more than five years I have served as a Teen Volunteer, in Chesapeake, Virginia, for The Mount Global Fellowship of Churches. I have also served as a volunteer for Westhaven Elementary's PTA in Portsmouth, Virginia.
While embracing and enjoying the privilege of being a member of Norfolk State University's Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College, I am simultaneously working toward attaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics. My short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals are to hold a position in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) chapter at Norfolk State University, attain my master's degree in aerospace engineering, and one day work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
I am blessed to attend the same University where my father and mother obtained their bachelor's degrees. I also have the privilege of attending school with my oldest sibling, and my mother who is currently working toward obtaining a master's degree. My younger two siblings, one in middle school and one in high school, are passionate about becoming Spartans soon."

Michael St. John

Michael is a student at Virginia Military Institute and writes:
"I am currently a first class-man (senior) at the Virginia Military Institute, majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Throughout my academic career so far, I have gone from knowing absolutely nothing about ECE to having a great amount of s uccess in my program. I have made the dean's list five times, and I have had academic stars all three possible years (sophomore, junior, and senior years). I was inducted to Eta Kappa Nu, the ECE honors society, and Tau Beta Pi, the general engineering honors society. In addition to these accomplishments, I have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.83, and a major GPA of a 4.00. In order to contribute to the ECE department, I have been a tutor for the Circuits I class and Intro to ECE class. I am now the first-class representative for the ECE department, as well as the assistant project manager for the senior capstone. Both of these roles require me to interact with the ECE faculty and staff, as well as people not at VMI, to put forth the best representation of VMI as possible. I am incredibly thankful for my education and experience at VMI, and I am excited to see where a degree from this institution will take me."