The Hydropower Foundation has awarded the 2020 Julie Keil Scholarship to Ka’Liyah Burnett, a sophomore at the University of Maryland who is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree.
Burnett is the third winner of the scholarship, which was established in 2015 to honor Julie Keil, a passionate leader known for balancing the interests of the hydropower community with innovative environmental protection and enhancements. Keil was also a tireless advocate for expanding opportunities for women to work in the industry she loved, the foundation said.
Burnett was selected from a competitive applicant pool by the scholarship selection committee for her demonstrated leadership skills, academic performance and success in the face of adversity. Burnett participates in the Black Engineer Society, Sisters in S.T.E.M, and T.O.R.C.H (Technical Outreach Community Help), to name a few. She uses her passion for engineering to help build her future and as a platform to inspire other women and young people.
In her application, Burnett notes that she is a “first-generation college student who grew up in a large household of six in Baltimore City.” Despite challenging circumstances, she described how she has continued to improve her academic performance and maintain strong grades. She strives to become a successful mechanical engineer within the hydropower industry.
“Ka’Liyah is a star in the making, and we are thrilled to recognize her achievements as well as her interest in hydropower”, says Shannon Ames, executive director of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute and member of the scholarship selection committee. “Her personal story, commitment to her education, interest in renewable energy, and especially her devotion to giving back to others through encouragement and leadership are truly inspiring.”
The Hydropower Foundation and the selection committee overseeing the fund are pleased to honor her with a $3,000 scholarship to assist in meeting her goals. The scholarship will be presented to Burnett during the virtual Women with Hydro Vision program during the HYDROVISION Exchange, Nov. 18, 2020, at noon CST.
The Julie A. Keil Women in Hydro Scholarship fund seeks to honor Keil and her legacy by supporting women who aspire to a career in hydropower and share her characteristics: leadership, energy, courage, strength, enthusiasm, and persistence. The scholarship supports women enrolled in an accredited college, university or technical school program majoring in a discipline relevant to entering the hydropower industry. The scholarship is based on merit and financial need. A grant is also made to the recipient to assist with expenses to attend the industry event where she will be recognized.