When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be funding.
For this reason, The University of Akron is pleased for the opportunity each year to assist talented, deserving students achieve their dreams, thanks to more than 1,300 named scholarships established through the kindness and generosity of thousands of UA alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations.
Scholarships truly are the best way to ensure that today’s students persist to graduation. Scholarships allow students to enroll full time and remain focused on their studies; they also reduce drop-out rates, decrease the stress of student loans, and shorten the road to graduation.
The need for scholarships grows each year, however, as students continue to face an increased financial burden in pursuit of a college degree. In fact, 94 percent of today’s baccalaureate students borrow to pay for college – versus just 45 percent in 1993. And across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2013 was $35,200.
If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider establishing a scholarship at The University of Akron. Scholarships can be created to honor a living person, in memory of a loved one, or to contribute to the growth of an area of study.
To learn more, please contact the Department of Development at 330-972-7238.
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De Abreu, Jordão and Francisca Endowed Fund for Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Design Excellence
The Jordão and Francisca De Abreu Endowed Fund for Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Student Design Excellence was established in 2011 by José Alexis De Abreu-García and Carmen (Carmela) Ramona Ametrano-De Abreu to honor Alex’s parents, Jordão De Abreu Zacarías and Francisca Antonia García-De Abreu.
Jordão De Abreu Zacarías was born in Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal, on March 15, 1916. In 1947, he immigrated to Caracas, Venezuela, where he married the love of his life, Francisca Antonia. His life was defined by his undying commitment to work and family. Through his entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, and perseverance, he became a successful businessman and chef. He successfully operated his own restaurants and rental properties for more than 42 years, working long hours seven days a week and taking only a couple vacations to visit his parents in his homeland. He instilled his sense of commitment and responsibility in his children and always reminded them he never missed work, not even when he was sick. A self-taught individual, Jordão De Abreu Zacarías seized every opportunity to learn and even tutored his two youngest children in elementary through high-school math.
Francisca Antonia García-De Abreu was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 17, 1926. Her life was defined by her commitment and total dedication to her family and those around her, especially the less fortunate. A most loving, tender, understanding yet firm and determined mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, she never tired until her children had the best life could offer, especially a solid education.
In 1995, Jordão and Francisca immigrated to Akron, Ohio, and in 2006 they became the oldest couple to become citizens of the United States, a special source of pride for them. Jordão and Francisca enjoyed the company of their 10 children, in union with 24 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.
Having had no formal education, the foremost life goal of Jordão and Francisca was to ensure their children’s education. They viewed education as the path that would provide their children a much better and intellectually fulfilling life than their own. While some of their children were the first generation ever to complete high school, half of them went on to college, with some earning master's and doctoral degrees.
As one of 10 children from a family of modest means in Caracas, Venezuela, Alex learned hard work at an early age, helping his mom and siblings do household chores and working in the family restaurant on weekends and school breaks. In sixth grade, Alex started working as a personal tutor for sixth-grade students and younger. He tutored his peers in high school and, upon graduating, continued to do so on a full-time basis for an additional two years. In 1976, he won a scholarship to pursue his undergraduate studies in Canada. He surpassed the language barrier to excel at his education and career ambitions and passions. Upon completing his electrical engineering degree in 1982, he was the recipient of teaching and research assistantships, tuition bursaries, and a number of awards and scholarships to pursue graduate studies. In addition to his teaching and research duties, he taught calculus and was a counselor to Venezuelan students in Canada on a part-time basis. From the encouragement of his parents, Alex was the first member of his family to complete graduate school and to earn a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Queen’s University at Kingston in Canada.
From the influences of their parents, both Alex and Carmela strongly believe that education is the pathway to betterment and success. As staunch advocates for hard work, dedication, and perseverance, they also are committed to promoting excellence in the education and careers of engineering and sciences.
Alex and Carmela are thankful their parents instilled within them a love and appreciation for family, education, cultural diversity, and charity. To honor his parents for their exceptional encouragement, Alex envisions that The Jordão and Francisca De Abreu Endowed Fund for ECE Student Design Excellence will give confidence to young men and women who are seeking engineering and science careers. It is then hoped that the recipients of this scholarship, by their own life’s examples and successes, will take every opportunity to also promote a future in engineering or science to others.
The Jordão and Francisca De Abreu Endowed Fund for ECE Student Design Excellence is to be awarded to an electrical and/or computer engineering undergraduate student team at The University of Akron. Preference is to award these funds to a team participating in a national/international student competition.
If no qualified applicant team meets these criteria, the funds are then to be directed and contributed to the endowment principal. The recipient team must also demonstrate an exceptional work ethic, outstanding leadership in both the classroom and community, and an extraordinary dedication to engineering design. Financial need is to be considered, and the recipient team must offer a collective 3.0 GPA or better.
The funds from the scholarship are to be applied to parts/components and/or travel only. The recipient team is to be selected by a committee consisting of The University of Akron Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Chair, the Student Design Team Administrator/Adviser(s), and selected ECE faculty.