For DonorsFor Applicants

Virginia Jeanette Drummond Kissane Women in STEM Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$3,000
Application Deadline
Apr 15, 2024
Winners Announced
May 15, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate
Alumnae of School:
Girls Middle School of Palo Alto, or of Presentation High School of San Jose, California

The Matriarch of our family valued STEM education for young women.

Virginia Jeanette Drummond Kissane taught for over thirty years, mostly at an all-girls high school. In her time there, she taught STEM subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics. She was passionate about the role of women in STEM and was an avid encourager of young women who sought to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To honor her memory and her passion for STEM, the Virginia Jeanette Drummond Kissane Women in STEM Memorial Scholarship will support women pursuing a career in STEM. This scholarship is specifically for alumnae of Girls Middle School of Palo Alto, California or alumnae of Presentation High School of San Jose, California. 

Young women who attended one of those schools and are now in high school or undergraduate school are eligible to apply if they are pursuing a STEM education. In your application, write about why you are passionate about your given STEM field and how you will use your education to help others. Additionally, you must include a reference letter from the principal of Girls Middle School of Palo Alto, or of Presentation High School of San Jose.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 18, 2023
Essay Topic

What is your passion in STEM? How will you use your STEM education to help other people?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Kendra Vincent
Presentation High SchoolSAN JOSE, CA
When I turned ten, I was finally old enough to help my dad decorate the house for Christmas, and I loved spreading that joy. At age thirteen, I connected our holiday spirit to charity by starting a fundraiser for Make@Wish, a foundation that supports hospitalized children and provides hope during the holidays, and this has become our annual tradition. Since then, we've set up a photo booth, baked cookies, and handed out hot cocoa while collecting donations through QR codes; in the last five years, I've raised over $8000 for the foundation. Through Make@Wish, Sacred Heart, tutoring, and local food distributions, I've spent 400+ hours giving back to my community. When Covid hit, I learned there was a way to influence change through the world of STEM. Now that I'm older, I want to participate in that impact. During my junior year, AP Biology's challenging content came to me instinctively. I spent hours studying after class because I found the lectures on cancer research fascinating. Through experiments that made E. coli glow in the dark by cross-mixing genetics, learning how GMOs can solve food insecurity, and the comradery that came with solving complex math equations as a team, it was clear that biology was my calling. By studying science, I can find ways to further help children in Make@Wish by advancing medical research. This year in Biotechnology/Bioethics we are studying ethical decision-making in STEM, like using PGD to select genetics for children, and where to draw the line between advancing medicine and playing God. I plan to implement these progressive lenses of morality and equity as I pursue my degree. I want to find ways to allocate resources to communities of color that lack access to proper healthcare and be an inspiration to future generations. My goal to create a diverse, trustworthy, equitable industry of medicine To be a black woman in STEM means I can open doors for people like me, inspire feminism in science culture, and work towards developing research aimed at curing childhood illness. I also want to allocate resources to communities of color without access to proper healthcare. By studying science, I can change people's lives on a broader scale and impact the world. Receiving this scholarship would allow me to attend USC and explore the academic and social opportunities that I have dreamed about since I was young. As the only black woman in my current high school class, I have learned to fight for representation and take advantage of every opportunity provided to me. Spreading awareness of my experience as a black lesbian and educating others throughout my high school journey is how I’ve made myself seen, and I am ready to take on the world with the same mindset. If given the opportunity to receive this scholarship, I will be sure to use it to the fullest extent and uplift women of all ethnicities and sexualities to help them find their true potential in the world of STEM.
Faguni Gupta
University of California-DavisDavis, CA


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 15, 2024.

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