Two local high school seniors win Norris Inc Technology Scholarships
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine—Norris Inc. on June 7th was on-hand at two high schools—RSU 14’s Windham High School and RSU 54’s Skowhegan Area High School—to laud the accomplishments of two seniors and hand them a scholarship certificate signifying they had won a $1,000 award from Norris to use toward post-secondary education/training.
The Windham event was attended by Norris CEO Jason Roberts and his wife Becky, who is Norris Customer Relations Manager. The Skowhegan event was attended by Norris Bangor Operations Supervisor, Brooks Thompson (a Skowhegan Alum), and Norris Chief Operations Officer, Craig Elkanich.
Check the scholarship qualifications!
In order to qualify for the award, students had to meet a few requirements. Students needed to have a 3.0 or better GPA and be interested in fields of study that are pertinent to the security industry, including Fire Science, Electrical Sciences (engineering/electrician, etc.), Software Development, or Network/Cyber Security. If students met those guidelines, they were then asked to compose an essay explaining their relevant interests and sharing their future plans for study. Winners were chosen by each school’s scholarship committee.
Windham’s winner was Joshua Libby. Taken from his award-wining essay Joshua explained his primary interest was in programming.
Programming the future
“I want to go to college to develop my skills as a programmer and logical thinker,” Libby said. “I can already code. However, I want to hone my skills and grow my connections once in college.”
Norris CEO Roberts felt the evening was a great opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the senior class (one of his own daughters graduated from Windham and celebrated a number of accomplishments on June 7), including those of Libby, whose contributions went beyond his studies in school.
“As the evening went on, and I learned more and more about Josh, I realized the scholarship committee made a great decision,” Roberts said. “He is committed to his community, which is evident from the overwhelming amount of community service hours he has performed.”
Again, from his essay, Libby displayed wisdom beyond his years as he explained school was more than just a way to get a job.
“I think programming has the potential to speak to millions in new and profound ways,” Libby said. “I want to bring my skills back to Maine and work in the state I grew up in. I know Maine is aging rapidly and I want to make jobs here to help the state economy.”
Libby said the scholarships were of great importance to him and his family.
“The support that this scholarship gave me and my family is vital in a time where college is necessary and expensive. I am not a stellar athlete so there were few sports or athletic scholarships I could apply for, but I have high grades in hard classes, so scholarships based on merit and dual enrollment classes while in high school are the best ways I have of saving money on college,” Libby said in an interview with Norris. “My tuition will still be high, but with the help from places like Norris, I can save money on loans and interest.”
Libby will be attending Southern New Hampshire University in the fall and will double major in Computer Programming and Art Design.
Skowhegan’s winner was James Walker.
In an interview with Norris Inc., Walker explained why he decided applying for the Norris Inc Technology Scholarship was the right move.
“I was passing in other scholarships I had applied for to the guidance office when Mrs. Bigelow [Guidance Administrative Assistant Jane Bigelow] stopped me for a second to show me the Norris Inc. Technology Scholarship,” Walker said. “When I read the scholarship, I saw that it went along with my major of Electrical Engineering. I wanted to apply for as many scholarships as I could, especially scholarships pertaining to my major.”
Norris COO Elkanich said it was an honor to hand Walker’s certificate to him.
“It was a fast-paced evening with many wonderful graduates receiving an amazing amount of scholarships throughout the night. We were honored to be a part of presenting James with a $1,000 scholarship,” Elkanich said. “James, himself, was the recipient of many different awards and it became quite apparent that he was well-liked throughout the school and was very deserving of the award.”
Doing all we can
Walker went on to explain his detailed plan for success includes working as an electrician’s helper at local general contractor and windmill power specialists Reed & Reed and also working at his father’s electrician business K&J Electric.
“This kind of support is important to me and my family because I am paying for my college and did not qualify for much financial aid. I greatly appreciate this scholarship because it will very much help me toward paying for my education,” Walker said. “By working out in the field I will gain knowledge that will help me in college.”
Walker will attend the University of Maine at Orono in the fall and will major in Electrical Engineering.
Windham’s three-hour event took place at the Windham High School Auditorium. There were approximately 600 people in attendance for the evening that saw graduating seniors receive approximately 100 awards for outstanding achievement.
Skowhegan’s 2-hour proceedings were held in the Elizabeth Merrill Auditorium at Skowhegan Area High School.
What is Norris all about?
Norris, Inc.—a South Portland, Maine-based life-safety and security systems integrator with satellite offices in Bangor, Maine; Lee, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont—was founded nearly 40 years ago by two brothers, Brad and Harty Norris. The brothers remain on the board of directors today and continue to help steer the enterprise toward its goal of advancing life-safety, security, and communications while striving to grow in its status as Northern New England’s leading systems integrator. Norris provides fully integrated life-safety and security solutions, comprising disparate systems including fire alarm, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, emergency notification and communications.