Virgina-based Lockheed Martin Corp. has launched a new STEM scholarship program and Goleta resident Kalyn Klimek is one of 200 recipients chosen out of more than 6,000 applicants nationwide.
“I was shocked,” said Ms. Klimek, a San Diego native who attends UCSB. “It was definitely an uplifting moment for me.”
Lockheed Martin’s scholarship program aims to assist high school and college undergraduate students who plan to pursue a major in engineering or computer science, who demonstrate financial need, and who come from an underrepresented group or underserved community.
At UCSB, where she finds herself as one of the few, and sometimes only, women in her computer science classes, Ms. Klimek values perseverance.
“I’m actually in a com-sci project group where it’s all guys and just me. It can be discouraging,” the sophomore said. “But it’s motivating for me to know that I’m good enough even though I’m the only girl in the group. You should just keep trying. Especially if you’re passionate.”
She initially studied mathematical science but switched tracks to computer science when she discovered her passion for the field.
“Math, I’ve liked my whole life, but com-sci, it’s an application of math that I really enjoy,” said Ms. Klimek, who intends to pursue a computer science master’s upon completing her undergraduate degree.
Lockheed Martin plans to support others like Ms. Klimek who pursue their passion for STEM.
“I am overwhelmed at the interest in the Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship program and proud of its potential to support the next generation of STEM talent,” said Jennifer Chavez Rubio, the company’s corporate community relations director.
The scholarship gives Ms. Klimek $10,000 annually until she completes her degree at UCSB, where cost of attendance is about $40,000 per year for California residents.
With the scholarship in her purse, Ms. Klimek is hunting software engineering internships to further hone her computer science skills.
In addition to training to be a computer wizard, Ms. Klimek is a cheerleader and a member of co-ed engineering fraternity Theta Tau.