College of the Canyons engineering major Jammal Yarbrough is one of 14 students, and the only community college student, from across the nation to be selected for the inaugural class of TE Connectivity’s African Heritage Scholarship Program.
The $3.5 million scholarship program will create new opportunities in the technology industry for top-performing Black and African American students in the country with the aim of further diversifying the company’s workforce.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Yarbrough, 36, who is majoring in electrical engineering at COC.
“I am so grateful and can’t wait to give back to my community. I want to be an example of what it means to oppose imposter syndrome,” added Yarbrough, regarding the feelings sometimes associated with doubting one’s own abilities.
“Everyone should feel that even though it may be difficult, you can always rely on education as an opportunity for personal growth,” he said, “regardless of age, race, gender, or individual imposter syndrome opposition.”
The two-year program includes a paid 10- to 12-week internship and scholarship funds of up to $22,500 per year, depending on individual need.
In May, Yarbrough will begin his paid internship in Middletown, Pennsylvania, at TE’s aerospace, defense and marine business.
Schools represented in this year’s student cohort include Alabama A&M University, Howard University, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina A&T, Rutgers University, University of Arizona, University of California, University of Georgia, University of Houston, University of Miami, University of Texas and College of the Canyons.
“We were impressed by the caliber of the applicants in the first year of the program and I know that our recipients will help make TE better with their talent and ideas,” said CEO Terrence Curtin in a news release. “STEM-related companies will be served well by recruiting a diversity of voices and backgrounds and we are excited to expand our efforts through this new program, which was created by a diligent team from TE’s African Heritage Employee Resource Group.”
After successfully completing the internship program, students will be invited back for a second internship at TE during summer 2023. The scholarship would then be eligible for renewal for their senior year. TE expects a new cohort of students will join the program every year for the next five years.
TE’s internship program is designed to fill the company’s leadership development programs and early career roles. In addition to real world job experience with a global impact, TE’s interns will experience a wide range of professional development workshops covering financial literacy, corporate communications and personal branding, according to a news release from COC. The program will also give students access to global networking events, community involvement opportunities and executive exposure.