At SHPE National, we are fortunate to have a daily front-row seat to the ambition, courage, and motivation demonstrated by our members. We know our Hispanic students are not lacking in determination, but we also know there is one area many of them do need help with – monetary support. In fact, lack of financial resources is the number one reason why Hispanics don’t complete their STEM degrees.


SHPE is addressing this disparity head on. Together with our ScholarSHPE program sponsors—including longtime partners Chevron, ATC, Boeing, Eaton, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and newcomers API, Brasstech, Bechtel, Discover, Jacobs—we provided more support than ever. A total of $450,500 in scholarships was granted to 188 recipients for the 2019-20 academic year.

While we are always incredibly grateful for our corporate partners, 2019 included an exciting new development – the creation of SHPE’s first scholarship fund formed by an individual donor. Miguel Alemañy, chair of SHPE’s National Board of Directors, made a $15,000 gift to establish the Helen Cuesta Scholarship Fund.

According to Alemañy, “My mother lived for 91 years and had a fantastic, rich, but difficult life. In her honor, I am establishing a fund in her name for a deserving female student in SHPE who has demonstrated ability to overcome life’s obstacles and who doesn’t give up.”  The 2019-2020 Helen Cuesta Scholarship recipient, Monica Tejeda, embodies just that.


“This scholarship makes me feel like I belong in graduate school. That feeling motivates me to be the best I can be for my people and communities! That feeling is everything!”​

Xavier Hernandez, M.S. Integrated Design, Business, and Technology, University of Southern California

Monica Tejeda

2020 Helen Cuesta Scholarship Recipient

At 12 years-old, Monica Tejeda’s father was deported and passed away eight years later. She started working at sixteen to support herself and her mother.  She pursued her undergraduate degree at California State University Long Beach, and at the age of 21, while still in school, she became a mother to a beautiful daughter.  Ever determined, she successfully completed her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and chemistry. She then gained admission to a master’s program in civil engineering at her alma mater where she maintains a 3.8 GPA. But, she’s not stopping there – she plans on pursuing a PhD in environmental engineering in the future.

SHPE is proud to support members like Monica – not just with providing the development of soft skills, access to industry, and the camaraderie of the Familia, but with tangible gifts too.  Yes, we’re talking cold, hard cash.  Scholarships transform the desire of our future Hispanic leaders into active pursuits – improving our communities and changing the world.

In 2019, we launched the Bright Minds ScholarSHPE Campaign with the goal of raising $500,000 by June 30, 2020 so that we can beat our record again and provide 250 scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. Tune in next year to see how we did! In the meantime, donate here