Scholarship award underscores the importance of family to engineering student

Being the first in her family to complete a college degree is important to Christina Canino, an engineering student recently awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

Canino, in her fourth year working towards a chemical and biological engineering degree, was awarded the 2017-2018 First in the Family Scholarship from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). “This scholarship is immensely alleviating in affording my college degree,” she said.

Chemical and biological engineering student Christina Canino, winner of the NSCS First in the Family scholarship. Photo courtesy Christina Canino
Chemical and biological engineering student Christina Canino, winner of the NSCS First in the Family scholarship. Photo courtesy Christina Canino.

The scholarship helps undergraduate students with tuition, and is awarded to those who are the first in their families to complete a college degree. Among several hundred others, Canino’s application “stood out because it was well-written, thoughtful and inspiring,” wrote Susan Kuper, Director of Member Engagement for NSCS.

NSCS and the First in the Family scholarship

Since 1994, the nonprofit NSCS has supported students through scholarships, chapter funding, and support for awards. The Colorado State University chapter of NSCS provides students with opportunities for service and leadership, and a commitment to both local and national scholarships.

Providing the First in the Family scholarship for advanced achievers helps NSCS in their mission to impact campuses and students nationwide. For students like Canino, scholarship support is vital to their continued education and for their families.

“My college attendance has always been a heavy financial burden for my family,” she said. “But my parents consistently put me first and work their best to ensure I get my college education, because they never got the chance to receive a degree of their own. Receiving the scholarship is one small way I can begin to repay my parents for their unconditional love and support.”

The importance of family

Being awarded the First in the Family scholarship highlights how the support of Canino’s family is integral to her success. “My parents are my biggest supporters and always have been,” she said. “Whether it was rooting me on in little-league basketball or driving up to attend my induction to NSCS, they are always there for me.”

Her parents did not push for her to follow a specific avenue in college, or try to limit her opportunities. They encouraged her to chart her own course, and supported her decisions and independence. Canino points to her father as instilling in her the values she needs to succeed after graduation, as she moves on to real-world problems like renewable energy and sustainability.

As an example of her family values, she pointed out something that her father often says: “Do not do anything to limit your choices. Gaining an education enables you to be open to any and all opportunities that come your way.”