By Polly Ouellette
Kaitlin Rizk, set to graduate in May as an industrial engineer, was chosen to receive the 2018 Love Family Foundation Scholarship. This award is given to one Georgia Tech student per year and is the highest award attainable for graduating seniors.
The Love Scholarship consists of $10,000 provided by the Gay and Erskine Love Foundation and honors the student with the most outstanding scholastic record. Rizk was chosen from the pool of graduating students from all six of Georgia Tech’s colleges.
“When I found out, I was beyond excited,” said Rizk. “I have worked extremely hard at Georgia Tech, so I was glad it paid off.”
Outside of challenging engineering classes, Rizk has been heavily involved in the creation of a startup called Stempower, which she worked on alongside three of her classmates. Stempower got its start through the Grand Challenges program, which allowed the four students to tackle a difficult problem through teamwork and innovation."Stempower, which is a registered corporation out of the CREATE-X startup programs, mentors and empowers young girls to be brave, self-confident and willing to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Under Rizk and the other co-founders, Stempower has grown from a local program into an organization with international influence. Rizk hopes that even after she graduates from Tech, she will be able to continue to help Stempower expand.
Rizk’s time at Tech hasn’t been without struggles, and she says that she especially has her family to thank for getting her to where she is now.
“My dad was a huge contributor to my success,” said Rizk. “He motivated me to be an engineer from the beginning and always encouraged me. He passed away recently, so I’ve been thinking about how proud he would have been.”
She wants to thank some mentors at Tech as well: Damon Williams, Alejandro Toriello, Carol Colatrella, Dori Pap and Chaffee Viets, who have all helped her act on her entrepreneurial passion.
Rizk will be graduating on May 5, 2018, alongside many of her classmates and the co-founders of Stempower. After she graduates, Rizk is headed to Egypt during the summer to start a new chapter of Stempower and afterwards will be working at Accenture in Washington, D.C.
Rizk is also a Stamps Presidents Scholar. Stamps Scholars is a nationally prestigious merit scholarship program and community that helps exceptional students become meaningful leaders throughout society. In 2006, Penny and Roe Stamps created merit scholarship programs for undergraduates at their alma maters – The University of Michigan and Georgia Tech. Since then, the Stamps Scholars community has grown into a national network of visionary colleges and universities who partner with the Stamps Foundation to award multi-year scholarships that help driven and talented student leaders achieve their education and life goals.