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East Central grad…

East Central graduate Thomas Seabers was awarded the 2013 Toyota STEM Scholarship.

East Central grad awarded Toyota STEM Scholarship

East Central graduate Thomas Seabers was awarded the 2013 Toyota STEM Scholarship during a press conference on July 24 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc., presented a $25,000 check to Seabers, the second student to receive the scholarship, based on his intentions to become a math teacher.  The scholarship targets students who commit to teach in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) field.

Seabers will enroll in Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges, this Fall and commit to complete his teaching degree in a STEM area at Texas A&M-San Antonio.  The scholarship will pay for tuition, fees and books for four years of college.

Chris Nielsen, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, presented the scholarship and a certificate to Seabers.

“We are excited about this education initiative and partnering with Palo Alto College and Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Placing more STEM teachers in our South Side school districts is critical to the continued growth and sustainment of the required workforce of tomorrow,” said Nielsen. “We have great faith in Thomas and his commitment to making a difference for our community.”

Nielsen teamed up with Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier, president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio; Dr. Michael Flores, president of Palo Alto College, and Gary Patterson, superintendent of East Central ISD, to celebrate the scholarship presentation. Also present was the first-ever recipient of the Toyota Texas Teachers Scholarship, Katie Dryzmala, now in her second year at Palo Alto College. Katie joined Nielsen in presenting Thomas with his scholarship award, continuing the tradition of paying it forward to the next generation.

PAC President Flores applauded the partnership of Seabers' family, the corporate entity of Toyota, and the three educational institutions – East Central, Palo Alto and A&M-San Antonio – to provide support to create a successful experience for the scholarship recipients.

“The model of partnership and collaboration that this scholarship represents demonstrates an understanding of the value of investing in our children and the study of STEM programs,” said Dr. Ferrier. “Toyota Texas, Palo Alto College, and Texas A&M-San Antonio are here to help Thomas, Katie and the recipients of the future to make our world a better place for the South Side and all of San Antonio.” 

The scholarship is an annual award that is open to students at high schools in the following school districts: East Central, Harlandale, Somerset, Southside, Southwest, and South San Antonio.

A true investment in the future of communities, this critical scholarship offers a double benefit to several area school districts in that students who will attend PAC and commit to obtain a teaching degree in a STEM field at TAMU-SA will be eligible to apply, and students will also commit to applying to a teaching position in the school district from which they graduated, ideally returning to their former middle or high school. 

Seabers, whose hobbies include puzzles and building models with Legos, says he plans to teach math and continue to study engineering.

Check out Texas Public Radio coverage here.