Kaitlin Rizk, an ISyE fourth-year who graduated in May, was chosen to receive the prestigious 2018 Love Family Foundation Scholarship. This Institute-level 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 her 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 (including two other ISyE majors). 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: Lecturer Damon Williams and Leo and Louise Benatar Early Career Professor Alejandro Toriello from ISyE; Professor Carol Colatrella, who directs the Georgia Tech Center for the Study of Women, Science, and Technology; Dori Pap, assistant director of the Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship; and Chaffee Viets, director of the Office of Special Scholarships. They have all helped her act on her entrepreneurial passion.
Rizk graduated on 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.