Both scholarships are part of our Women in STEM Scholarship series, which aims to increase the global representation of women in STEM-related fields.
2023 has only just begun, and we’re already off to a great start with some exciting news: We have chosen the second recipient of the Akanksha Scholarship for Women in STEM in India, and we are now accepting applications for the Mary Székely Scholarship in the U.S.
Both are part of our Women in STEM Scholarship Series, a program that aims to support women in India, Bulgaria and the U.S. pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
“Across every function and at every level, women have been, and continue to be, instrumental in the success of Progress,” said Yogesh Gupta, CEO, Progress. “By encouraging tomorrow’s women STEM leaders today through our scholarship series, we are helping ensure that future innovation is shaped by diverse perspectives and equal opportunities for all.”
This year’s Akanksha Scholarship recipient is Latha Bethelli. A student at S.R. Junior College, Hanumakonda, Telangana, Latha is passionate about computer science and hopes to use technology to create positive change. After first getting acquainted with the internet in her middle school computer lab, Latha became fascinated with computer science. She used what resources she could find to teach herself and become more proficient in technology. She also became a leader at her high school and spent time mentoring students with learning disabilities and behavioral issues.
“I am truly grateful to receive this scholarship from Progress. I’ve had a strong interest in computer science for years and this scholarship will help me continue my education and strengthen my skills to support my dreams of helping others through technology,” said Latha. “Companies have the power to diversify their respective industries by supporting the education and development of underrepresented groups. It’s great to see Progress is doing their part to provide more opportunities for women in tech and I promise to take advantage of the opportunity this scholarship has presented to me.”
The Akanksha Scholarship for Women in STEM is a four-year, $2,000 per-year renewable scholarship to cover tuition, fees and educational expenses. Established in 2021, the scholarship is awarded to an Indian citizen who identifies as a woman and is pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science, software engineering, IT and/or computer information systems.
To be selected for the Akanksha scholarship, candidates must clearly show excellence and dedication to their studies, as well as demonstrate personal qualities that exemplify courage, conscientiousness and resilience.
The first recipient of the scholarship, Akhila Karanam, is currently a student at Keshav Memorial Institute of Technology in Hyderabad, India.
“I am deeply honored to be the first to receive this scholarship. It will help me pursue my studies, develop my computer science and engineering skills, and to work towards my dream of starting my own business,” Akhila said last year.
“Progress is clearly demonstrating that it cares about promoting women in the field of technology,” she continued. “I hope to see more companies like Progress taking the initiative to support young talent in the future. Computer science is a great field for professional development, and I will do my best to take full advantage of the opportunity Progress has presented me.”
As for our second piece of exciting news: Applications are now open for the Mary Székely Scholarship for Women in STEM. Established in 2019, the scholarship provides a maximum of $10,000 per year and is awarded to a Massachusetts resident.
The scholarship honors the memory of Progress co-founder Mary Székely, who led the development and enhancement of Progress OpenEdge in her over 30 year-tenure at the company. In addition to her passion for science and tech, Mary was a strong supporter of mentorship and education for those interested in STEM.
So far, three amazing young women have received the Mary Székely Scholarship: Kaya Dorogi, who is studying computer science at Columbia University; Gavriela Tejedor, who is enrolled in the computer science program at Wesleyan University; and Yiming Fang, who is double majoring in computer science and business administration at Carnegie Mellon.
“Mary Székely was an amazing woman,” Yiming said last year. “She bravely stepped forward to pioneer work in computer science, which, even though it’s getting so much better, is still very much a male-dominated field. That can be very intimidating.”
“I also really admire how people remember her and the impact she was able to make, not only with what she physically created and developed, but also with the way she treated people,” she continued. “Treating people with kindness and empathy is so important, and she did a really good job with that. And especially her mentoring work—young kids can learn so much. My friend and I started a scratch club where we taught third graders how to code and scratch. That was something I wish I had, because it would have gotten me into computer science much earlier.”
With our Women in STEM Scholarship Series, we’re taking steps to further diversify the tech field—and to support the next generation of women leaders in STEM.
For more information on the Mary Székely Scholarship, eligibility and the application process, click here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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