Lawrence Tech to give $3.5 million in scholarships to Southfield Public Schools students each year

Lawrence Technological University is diving into community engagement in a big way 3.5 million big ways, in fact. 
The Southfield-based university has announced that it will set aside $3.5 million a year, to be given as half-year scholarships to 50 Southfield Public Schools students each year, giving back to the community it calls home.

The scholarship is called the Blue Devil Southfield Scholars program.

In addition to the scholarships, LTU is developing summer camps and another programming for SPS middle school students and workshops for SPS teachers. Also planned is a mobile app to improve engagement between the community and SPS.

For LTU President Virinder K. Mougdil, the program is a win-win. LTU gets to give back to the community where its students and faculty work and live, all the while enrolling students in the STEAM Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture & Design, and Mathematicsan academic curriculum that it has championed from the school's very beginnings.

One of the main goals of the program is to get schoolchildren interested in STEAM-related careers while they're young.

"Teaching STEAM is our main focus at LTU. We have been one of the best at it since our founding in 1932. It has always been our focus," says Mougdil. "Now we get to reach kids at a young age, during their formative years."

"The scholarship is an incentive for the kids to get involved with STEAM early on."

LTU will begin working with SPS students at the beginning of the university's spring semester in January 2018.

Southfield Public Schools is tasked with creating the committee, made up of teachers, principals, and other staff members, to select the 50 Blue Devil Southfield Scholars to receive the scholarships.

A news conference was held Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the Southfield Public Schools John W. English Administration Center to announce the program.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.