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NSBE receives funds from ‘You Decide | We Provide’ contest

Trenisha Ford serves as the treasurer for the National Society of Black Engineers. The student organization was awarded $1,000 from the Burns & McDonnell “You Decide | We Provide” campaign.

Mizzou Engineering’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) recently learned that they are one of the 25 student organizations slated to receive $1,000 from the engineering firm Burns & McDonnell’s foundation.

Burns & Mac’s “You Decide | We Provide” campaign, in its second year, invites students at Midwestern universities to “vote” online for the organizations that “most matter” to them, and MU’s NSBE chapter was among those with the most votes.

“The former president of our group, Matt Oates (BS EE ’08), works at Burns & Mac,” said NSBE’s treasurer, Trenisha Ford, a junior from Kansas City who is majoring in mechanical engineering at MU. “We invited him to a meeting to talk to us, and he told us about the program.”

Ford, who was referred to NSBE by a friend during her freshman year, said that membership in a group like NSBE has offered her an avenue of support during her years at MU. “I could talk to students in higher grades about things that they had already gone through,” she explained.

“Being in NSBE has also helped me to develop leadership skills,” Ford added, saying that she has additionally served as senator and vice-president for the organization.

Julie Shapiro, one of Burns & Mac’s college recruiters, said that the initiative stemmed from a desire on behalf of the foundation to put the money directly into student organizations’ hands.

“Instead of giving money to professors or directly to college students where we weren’t exactly sure how it got spent, we turned it into a competition for student organizations,” Shapiro said.

“We want to help them out as much as possible,” said Shapiro. “They know what’s most important to them, so we give them the option to spend the money on a project of their choice. We ask each recipient group to schedule us for a spring presentation on a topic of interest to them and we check in with them then,” she added.

Ford said that NSBE is very pleased to be one of the organizations with the most votes and the group will use the funds to help members attend the national conference to be held in Toronto, Canada during spring break.