LULAC National Education Service Centers Inc. Announces the 2020 ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship Program Recipients

Scholarships crucial to close the gap on Hispanic students graduating with STEM degrees

WASHINGTON--()--LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) is pleased to announce the 2020 ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship program national recipient, Gisselle Washington of San Antonio, Texas, and 12 local awardees from across LNESC’s program sites. Ms. Washington will receive a four-year $20,000 scholarship to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University.

While the attainment gap has narrowed in Hispanic education, Hispanics continue to lag behind their counterparts in obtaining bachelor’s degrees, especially in STEM disciplines. As a possible result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hispanics have experienced approximately a three percent decline in enrollment rates for the fall 2020-2021 academic year, as compared to the previous year.

Funded by Exxon Mobil Corporation, the scholarship program provides high-achieving Latino high school seniors with opportunities to pursue degrees in engineering at accredited colleges or universities across the country. Selections are based on academic performance, career interests, and potential, as well as leadership and community involvement.

The ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship, in partnership with LNESC, has shown demonstrated success in preparing students for STEM careers. Ninety-six percent of past recipients have either graduated from a four-year university or are currently enrolled in a college or university.

Ms. Washington shares, “I aspire to become a mechanical engineer to help solve disparities in education for my community. My passion is to develop a mentorship program that will ignite a desire for minority students to pursue STEM education and career fields. The ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship will help make pursuing my studies at Cornell more financially obtainable and contribute to my goal of innovating technology for improving learning to shape the world.”

Local scholarship recipients will receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship to pursue engineering degrees at U. S. post-secondary institutions. The 2020-2021 ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship Program recipients are:

Alison Duncan, Texas A&M University – College Station, Engineering; Hometown: Portland, TX
Milan Haruyama, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Computer Science; Hometown: Naples, FL
Adriana Lanza, Northeastern University, Mechanical Engineering; Hometown: Fairless Hills, PA
Grayson Leal, Texas A&M University – College Station, Engineering; Hometown: Robstown, TX
Xavier Lujan-Flores, Arizona State University, Mechanical Engineering; Hometown: Rio Rancho, NM
Dario Martinez-Tamez, University of Texas at Dallas, Mechanical Engineering; Hometown: Murphy, TX
David Montana, Boston University, Mechanical Engineering; Hometown: Miami, FL
Angel Perez, Florida International University, Biomedical Engineering; Hometown: Miami, FL
Jared Ramirez, University of Southern California, Aerospace Engineering; Hometown: The Woodlands, TX
Eloy Sanchez Jr, Columbia University, Biomedical Engineering; Hometown: Houston, TX
Jacqueline Wheeler, University of Texas at Austin, Civil/Environmental Engineering; Hometown: Dallas, TX
John Zuniga, University of Texas at Austin, Architectural Engineering; Hometown: Lake Jackson, TX

“Now more than ever, there is a need for professionals working in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills to address the evolving needs of our global community. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in these industries is projected to grow to more than nine million between 2012 and 2022. This is why it is important for us invest in our youth through education to strengthen and create diversity in the STEM workforce. Through the continued support of ExxonMobil, LNESC is proud to award more than $40,000 annually to Latino students across the LNESC network to purse a degree in engineering,” said Richard Roybal, LNESC Executive Director.

Hispanics are significantly underrepresented in postsecondary education and in professional careers, particularly in the STEM fields. According to the Pew Research Center, STEM-based careers have skyrocketed by 79 percent since 1990, even as other career pathways have stagnated. Alarmingly, Latinas hold only two percent of STEM jobs while Latinos hold only 4 percent, despite the fact that the Hispanic population now represents over 18 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanics make up 16 percent of the American workforce, but only six percent of scientists and engineers, according to the National Science Foundation.

“With COVID-19 introducing even more obstacles to higher education, it is critical that Hispanic students are supported and empowered to pursue their passions for engineering,” said Kevin Murphy, corporate citizenship and community investments manager at ExxonMobil. “The need for STEM professionals continues to grow, and we hope to propel these students into successful future careers through this partnership with LNESC.”

About LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC)

LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) was established in 1973 by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to provide educational programming to high-need students throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Throughout 16 education and technology centers, LNESC has served over 579,000 students, sent 157,000 students on to college, and awarded nearly $28 million in scholarships. LNESC’s results are made possible by a network of dedicated field staff, top-notch teachers, over 90 school partners, and the support of LULAC - the nation’s largest membership based Latino organization. LNESC works to change lives and build Latino communities, one student at a time.

More information about LNESC and its programs can be found at


Marianna Moron


Marianna Moron