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First Generation College Student, Community Volunteer Wins Jere W. Thompson Jr. Scholarship Award

First Generation College Student, Community Volunteer Wins Jere W. Thompson Jr. Scholarship Award

PLANO, TX – July 15, 2015 – The North Texas Tollway Authority has awarded its annual Jere W. Thompson Jr. Scholarship to a first generation college student with a passion for serving others.

Joana Jardon is a civil engineering student with plans to graduate in 2017. She attends the University of Texas at Austin, where she participates in the American Society of Civil Engineers and Society of Women Engineers. While in school, she has also donated hundreds of hours volunteering for community service events like Project 2015—one the largest single-day student, community-run service events in Texas that works to assist a local Austin neighborhood in need.

Jardon chose civil engineering because of her father’s work in construction.

“He would come home in the evenings with blueprints and home plans, explaining every little detail to me with such excitement, that I chose to pursue civil engineering.”

Jardon joins a small percentage of women who are pursuing careers in engineering. Although women made up about 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce in 2014, only 12 percent of civil engineers were women.

The Jere W. Thompson Jr. Scholarship Fund, administered by The Dallas Foundation, provides recipients up to $2,000 per semester with a maximum award of $8,000 combined for four semesters. Each year’s recipient also is offered a summer internship with NTTA or one of its corporate partners.

The scholarship assists engineering students who may not otherwise be able to continue their education or pursue their professional aspirations. NTTA established the scholarship in 2001 to ensure that high-caliber candidates continue to graduate from engineering programs at Texas colleges and universities. Since then, the Authority and its corporate partners have awarded more than $120,000 in scholarships.

For more information about the Jere W. Thompson Jr. Scholarship Fund or to make a donation, visit The Dallas Foundation.

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