Three area high school seniors have been named recipients of the annual Whirlpool Foundation Sons & Daughters Scholarship program.
This year’s competition featured 15 applicants, all of whom are the sons or daughters of Cleveland-based employees attending area high schools.
Locally, the Whirlpool Corporation operates three functions and employs more than 2,000 workers. These include Whirlpool Cleveland Division, the manufacturing plant on Benton Pike; Whirlpool Cleveland Customer eXperience Center, the call center on 20th Street; and Whirlpool Cleveland Global Product Organization, the research and engineering arm located at the Benton Pike plant.
“Each spring, the Whirlpool Foundation has the honor of bestowing several scholarships upon the children of Whirlpool Corporation employees,” said Carolyn Webb, HR Business Partner for Assembly and Communications who coordinates the scholarship program in Cleveland.
Similar scholarship competitions are held each year in seven other Whirlpool community locations across the country.
“In Cleveland, competition for a $24,000 scholarship, a $2,500 Honor Award and a $1,000 Incentive Award draws out the best and brightest among high school seniors in our community,” Webb said. “The scholarship program is a longstanding initiative operated through the Whirlpool Foundation.”
This year’s scholarship recipients include:
- Julia Jones, a Cleveland High School senior and the daughter of Whirlpool Cleveland Division associate Kevin Jones who works in manufacturing services. She is the recipient of the top $24,000 scholarship and plans to attend Bryan College to major in secondary education.
- Morgan Miller, a Walker Valley High School senior and the daughter of Anthony Miller, a Whirlpool engineer who works in the Cleveland-based GPO organization. She is the recipient of a $2,500 Honor Award and plans to attend Milligan College to major in biology. She wants to pursue genetic disease research and later teach.
- Eduardo Trevino-Rivera, a Bradley Central High School senior and the son of Eduard Trevino, a Whirlpool Cleveland Division associate who works in assembly at the manufacturing plant. He is the recipient of a $1,000 Incentive Award and plans to attend either the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga or Maryville College. He will major in either architecture or civil engineering.
Because the Whirlpool Foundation scholarship program is competitive-based, students complete a detailed application that includes an essay, references from teachers, community leaders and others; and then, a group of finalists complete the scoring process with personal interviews in front of a panel of judges.
“The winners of the Whirlpool Sons & Daughters Scholarship Program each year are determined by a panel of judges from the community,” Webb explained. “These judges represent various industries including education, business and the nonprofit sector.”
Webb recognized, and thanked, this year’s panel members. They included Allen Mincey and Lisa Mantooth, representing United Way of Bradley County Inc.; and Lisa Pickel, representing the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and Cleveland Associated Industries.
“I just want to say a tremendous thank you to this year’s community judges,” Webb said. “They did an amazing job in reviewing and scoring the applicants. To serve as a judge in this scholarship competition is very time-intensive and it requires a commitment to education and young people.”
She added, “Whirlpool considers itself a part of every community in which it is located and that’s why the Whirlpool Foundation reaches out to community leaders to help us improve the quality of life for area families, and to provide the best possible education for our young people.”
Richard “Dicky” Walters, plant leader at Whirlpool Cleveland Division and a longtime manufacturing leader within Whirlpool Corporation’s North American operation, praised the Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company for its commitment to U.S. manufacturing and for creating a positive influence within all communities in which it operates a function — whether it’s manufacturing, customer service or engineering.
“Whirlpool takes great pride in the fact that we are not just a leader in the manufacturing of innovative appliance products, but in knowing that we take a keen interest in the quality of lives of our employees, their families and certainly their children,” Walters said. “Any responsible company — and there are many in Cleveland and Bradley County — that considers itself a successful operation does two things really well. They build quality products or services, and they help to build quality communities.”
Walters added, “I congratulate Julia, Morgan and Eduardo on their scholarships. We are proud to call their dads Whirlpool associates, and we are equally as proud to give them a deserved helping hand in advancing their educations. We are always pleased to partner with the Whirlpool Foundation which makes this type of family and education programming available to our employees.”
The Whirlpool Foundation was established more than half a century ago with the intent of improving the quality of life in the communities where Whirlpool operates. Starting in 1952, the Sons & Daughters Scholarship Program has provided more than 1,900 scholarships and honor awards totaling more than $16 million.