By: Rachel K. Hindery
David Reese recalls the moment when he learned he had won a $1,500 scholarship fromthe Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation. “I was ecstatic when I first saw it,” Reese said. Reese, an industrial engineering student in his second year at Triton College, will use the scholarship for tuition and books this fall. Applicants wrote essays, described their courses and listed their GPAs. Each award also included a SolidWorks Corporation Student Design Kit CAD software package.
As excited as Reese is, Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs President Edward Youdell said he also appreciates rewarding students like Reese. “We are pleased to award scholarshipsto these deserving students and are happy to assist them in reaching their academic goals,” Youdell said in a June 29 press release (www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org/news). Describing a skilled manufacturing career as both “rewarding financially” and “fulfilling personally,” Youdell added that Reese and other students will meet the needs of American manufacturers.
For Reese, the best parts of engineering are its focuses on creativity, problem solving and teamwork. His older sister is also an inspiration. “She got into engineering first, and her mentor was my mentor. She got her master’s first.” After he graduates from Triton College with an associate’s degree in spring 2018, Reese plans to transfer to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. His favorite classes at Triton include a production class and a speech class.
Antigone Sharris, the department coordinator for Triton College’s Engineering Technology Department, told Reese about the scholarship opportunity. “…I greatly appreciate the support NBT gives to community college students. Students like David are the future leaders in our various manufacturing companies,” Sharris said. While at Triton, Reese has also earned the Adreani Foundation Scholarship and John Boyle Memorial Scholarship. Having experience applying for scholarships “…definitely gave me more confidence,” Reese said. “I thought, ‘just do it.’ It helped me know that I could get them.”
Reese is active both on campus and near his Maywood home. At Triton, he’s a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Chemistry Club and Bible Club, and remembers telling other students about Triton’s clubs at a back-to-school barbecue. Off campus, Reese can be found on the baseball or football field, cheering on the Chicago White Sox or watching a movie—“The Dark Knight” is his favorite. “When I’m more active with other stuff it keeps me more focused on studying, because I have something to do,” Reese said.
As a homeschooled student, Reese said he started developing the skills for college success at a young age. “It helped me mature more quickly,” Reese said of his homeschooling experience. He gained a familiarity with Triton College during his junior and senior year of high school by taking classes. Triton gave Reese the chance to save money before attending a university, while experiencing quality academics.
The Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation summer 2017 newsletter highlights scholarship winners from 2015 and 2016 who are continuing to show leadership in manufacturing (www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org/about-us). Reese has his own advice for Triton College students pursuing their own academic and career goals. First, focus on financial aid, including scholarships. “Start out right and get your financial aid situated.” Second, focus on academics, which are often used to determine scholarships. “Study hard from the beginning, because it’s a lot better to start with a high GPA than bringing it up later.” As Triton students begin a new semester or study for a midterm, that’s helpful advice from a student who has already found success at Triton College.