It is our pleasure to announce this year's winner of the Empaxis Scholarship for Women in Business, Rachel Williams.
This annual scholarship of $2,000 goes out to a female student who plans to pursue a career in business/entrepreneurship and shows great promise in reaching her goals.
Based on Rachel's application, we are impressed by her leadership qualities, the experience she has in helping others, and her plans for the future.
Rachel is originally from Chicago, and her experiences growing up in Chicago's South Side, having seen up close the connection between poverty, crime and limited resources, have motivated her to seek solutions to societal issues.
Rachel believes increased resources is one part of the solution. The other part is about empowering individuals to realize their full potential. She feels that by encouraging others to pursue careers in business and aspire to attain leadership roles, positive societal change will come about.
Rachel has shown she is committed to these goals, and she is willing to help anyone from any group or background unlock their full potential.
Rachel's good character and leadership is best displayed through the organizations she has been involved with.
In high school, she served as chapter president of Best Buddies, an international organization committed to ending the isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), Rachel said the experience improved her emotional and social intelligence, as well as teaching her the importance of being selfless as a leader.
In addition, she is the social media chair and brand ambassador of a Chicago-based nonprofit organization, Beauty and Brains. Beauty and Brains is an organization that helps young women realize their full intellectual potential, providing resources, mentorship and guidance in academic and career pursuits.
Rachel also serves on the executive board of Project STEM X, an organization that promotes increased participation of women, African-Americans, and minority groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.
The organization helps individuals discover an interest and awareness of STEM, and by promoting opportunities to advance in these fields, people will improve their economic well-being and use their intellectual and innovative capabilities to the fullest.
Rachel is a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta. There, she holds a 3.96 GPA and is pursuing degrees in Comparative Women's Studies and Management/Organization.
Rachel recently finished a summer internship with Microsoft, and having recently seen how underprivileged families and communities have struggled in transitioning to a remote learning/schooling environment, she is extra motivated to use her position and talents to help those who need it in areas of technology.
Long term, Rachel sees her experience, talents, and passions all coming together, in which she plays a greater role in promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives for large organizations.
To Rachel, diversity and inclusion goes beyond notions of race. The terms cover all areas (gender, geography, orientation, class, ability, thought, etc.). Furthermore, she believes commitment to these ideals leads to more positive economic and social outcomes for all.
"We will only become a better society, with better companies, people, and communities, when (D&I) is a true priority," she said.
Rachel's plans, perseverance, good character, leadership, and discipline in her work and study are the reasons we selected her as recipient of the scholarship.
We believe she is determined to achieve her goals no matter what. For Empaxis to play a small role in helping her reach those goals is our pleasure, and we look forward to what the future has in store for Rachel.