Twin brothers, James and John Hughes, both have the same thing in mind – a career in or related to science and technology. 2012 graduates of Southwestern Central School, each received scholarships from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to further their academic educations at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
John and James are committed, through hard work, to being successful. John added, “Learning business acumen is also key. Professional advancement and multiple opportunities come with the ability to offer a wide variety of marketable skills to prospective employers.”
Both young men stressed the importance of finding “your own direction,” and acquiring communications skills. They also underscored the value of being willing to explore internships and other “out-of-the-box” experiences that might lead to unexpected career opportunities.
In May 2015, John received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and is continuing his education by completing a master’s degree at RIT. He hopes to pursue a career in consumer electronics or defense, with a focus on micro-electronic engineering. He is grateful for the continued financial assistance he receives through the Community Foundation.
Encouraging others to follow suit, he views the common scholarship application process as time-saving and efficient. “It makes seeking out and applying for grants one-at-a-time unnecessary.” Recognizing, too, that not every high school student needs or wants to pursue a traditional four-year college degree, he appreciates the Foundation’s support for non-traditional students and those pursuing vocational skills.
James received a dual Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Management Information Systems and Economics in May 2015. He recently accepted a position with Amazon Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, as a business analyst – a job he finds, “…really rewarding and fast-paced.” He believes RIT prepared him well and is appreciative of his scholarship awards. “Today’s student debt is enormous,” he said, “but the grant submission process at the Community Foundation is relatively easy. The financial assistance I received was incredibly valuable in helping me cover many costs associated with college.”
This is part of a series focusing on students who have received scholarship assistance from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.