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STEAM Sports Foundation Awards Scholarships in Motorsports/Automotive Engineering

Seven Aspiring Female Engineers Receive Grants for 2024-25

ATLANTA, GA (July 2) – Seven female minority college students from throughout the U.S. have been awarded $5,000 scholarships by STEAM Sports Foundation to pursue their dreams to become engineers or technicians in the automotive and motorsports industry.

The group consists of four first-time university award winners, a technical school student who aspires to own an all-female repair shop one day, and two former recipients.

As scholarship recipients, they will have the opportunity to apply for an internship at General Motors and participate in two Immersion Tours. Implemented a year ago, the foundation’s Immersion Tour provides a behind the scenes look at engineering at GM’s Technical & Research Centers in Concord, NC and Warren, MI. The center in North Carolina concentrates specifically on motorsports. 

Arisa Chue (Stanford) is a return recipient. She has done software engineering internships at both Google and Meta. She is vice-president of Stanford’s Society of Women Engineers. As a member of Women in STEM Education (WiSE), she participated in a quantitative trading and financial markets program by Jane Street Capital. As a computer science major, her concentration is on the application of Machine Learning and NLP to simplify the human-machine interface in voice recognition for both human and self-driving vehicles. This summer, she is interning at Stripe with an emphasis on financial interfacing within the automotive industry. Last fall, she studied abroad in Hong Kong. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. She is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, VA)

Magan Cruz-Wingo (Solano Community College) is majoring in automotive technology with a goal to become a Master Automotive Technician. She has been a member of the International Honor Society, Filipino American Society, and vice-president of the Solano Auto Club. A graduate of Hogan High School in Vallejo, CA, her goal is to get a four-year degree at Sacramento State in its Batchelor’s of Science Center and Technical Studies program. Ultimately, she would like to own an all-female auto repair shop.

Taya Dinkins-Goldsmith (Oakland University) returns as a recipient. An NSBE member, this summer she is instructing STEM students at the university’s summer STEM camps. A year ago, the computer science major served as an engineering intern at General Motors where she collaborated with the fuel cell integration team, implemented software changes, mapped CAN signals and resolved software issues via a rigorous debugging process. At the International Technology Academy (Pontiac, MI), she was a member of the National Honor Society, the National Education Equity Lab National Honors Society, and treasurer of the International Ambassadors Council. She won first place in Pontiac (MI) Library Black History Month contest and was part of the group that placed first in the SMASH Michigan Summer Academy STEM Workshop Competition. 

Ximena Garcia-Pena (UNC/Charlotte) was a member of Charlotte’s recent award-winning FSAE team where her research and documentation of airflow, design, and patterns played an important role in the team’s success. This fall, she will increase her involvement even further, becoming a key member of FSAE’s aerodynamic design team that has considerable interface with nearby Hendrick Motorsports. With experience in STARCCM+, Solidworks, and ZEISS Reverse Engineering, she will work with the team’s efforts to vie for first place in 2025, following a second-place overall finish in 2024. A graduate of Challenger Early College High School (Hickory, NC), her major is mechanical engineering.

Jayda Jenkins (UT/San Antonio) is an honor student and has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, FSAE, NSBE, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a Klesse College Ambassador Leader. She plays an instrumental role in UTSA’s racecar design and construction as a member of the club’s aero and suspension team. At Round Rock (TX) High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society. 

Kyndal Newsome (Florida A&M) is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), FAMU Engineering LLC, and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) where she has studied Solidworks and CAD models for FAMU’s racecar build. A mechanical engineering major, she is the foundation’s first scholarship recipient from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). She graduated from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville. 

Hosanna Worku (University of Georgia) is a member of the university’s Formula SAE program where she has been the assistant frame lead. In addition, she has contributed to firewall, push arm, and fabrication with her team, and is proficient in softwares ranging from Anysys to Solidworks.  A member of the National Society of Black Engineers, she is a Tucker (GA) High School graduate. There she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Technology Student Association and earned the Perfect Attendance award. She is a mechanical engineering major.

“Every year it gets more difficult to choose among our candidates,” said STEAM Sports Foundation Executive Director Bob Dickinson. “Not only are we getting more applicants, but their interest and involvement in motorsports and automotive engineering is becoming more and more specific. It’s encouraging to see women like these willing to tackle the rigors of becoming pioneers in a field that traditionally has been a distant one.

“We appreciate General Motors’ contribution through its diversity, equity and inclusion group and hope to continue to grow and expand opportunities within motorsports over and above our scholarships.”


About STEAM Sports Foundation

Recognizing workforce and economic development as integral parts of corporate growth, STEAM Sports Foundation works with companies, educators and sports groups to develop initiatives around science, technology, engineering, arts and math that impact the world of sports and entertainment.  The foundation’s focus is on scholarships and career summits in an effort to help create tomorrow’s vibrant workforce. Its “Women of Color” scholarship program in automotive/motorsports engineering provides diversity to a transportation industry that is ever-changing via innovation and technology with individuals who traditionally did not consider these career paths simply because they saw few who looked like them in the industry. The foundation is located in Alpharetta, GA. Bob Dickinson is founder and executive director.



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