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Cane Bay senior awarded $5k scholarship from The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina

Published Friday, August 24, 2018

If you have a young daughter with a passion for technology, you’ve likely heard about “The STEMinists Program” at Cane Bay High School. The program created at Cane Bay instills excitement in young women interested in science, technology, engineering and math. 

You are possibly aware of a camp The STEMinists Program held this summer that sold out. 

What you may not have known is that program was started by a student at the school – Ogugua Nwaezeigwe. 

The media center at Cane Bay High School was filled with students Friday as the 17-year-old Nwaezeigwe was surprised with the 2018 R.D. Bennett Community Service Scholarship presented by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. Judges for the scholarship said her work with the program was impressive. 

“The judges were impressed with every aspect of Ogugua’s project,” said Van O’Cain, director of public and member relations with The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.  “It was a big undertaking, and her work will have a lasting impression on the young women in her community.” 

“The conversation that this program has started—I would never have imagined when I first thought of the idea,” she wrote in her application. “Being a woman is not a disadvantage but something to be celebrated in the STEM field."

Nwaezeigwe was all smiles as she accepted the news of her $5,000 scholarship. She and Cane Bay Principal Tim McDowell both admitted they hope the money is spent at Stanford University. 

Humble beyond her years as a student, Nwaezeigwe thanked nearly everyone in the room as she accepted the news, a plaque from the cooperatives and a bouquet of flowers from Berkeley Electric. 

“I just want to say, ‘thank you’ to whoever has helped me get to this point in my life,” she said. “I’m a senior now, and being here to help Cane Bay and being able to help girls – it’s really inspiring.” 

Nwaezeigwe was among 10 high school students from across the state who competed for the scholarship. 

“I was going crazy for three days working on that application,” she said. 

The Cane Bay High senior is the daughter of Patrick and Rosy Nwaezeigwe. 

Brian Troutman