Each year, Philips Electronics offers college scholarships its employees’ dependent sons and daughters who are high school seniors. The Philips Electronics Scholarship Program encompasses twenty renewable scholarships of $3,000, as well as two renewable Pieter C. Vink awards of $10,000 to the top male and female applicants.
In 2010-2011, Philips selected Avraham Wyshogrod (“Avri”) – a native of Israel who moved to Massachusetts with his family in 2001 – as the male recipient of the Pieter C. Vink award. Avri learned about the program from his father, an employee at Andover, MA-based Philips Medical, and applied during his senior year at The Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science.
Avri is now a busy college student, currently studying Mechanical Engineering and Business at Northeastern University in Boston, but he was nice enough to share his story with ScholarUp. In our recent interview, Avri reflected on his childhood in Israel and his journey to becoming a college undergrad.
ScholarUp: Which of your personal achievements or qualities do you think helped you stand out among other applicants for the Philips Electronics Scholarship Program?
Avri: I believe I received the Pieter C. Vink scholarship award because of my unique high school experience, which included two different high schools and many different classes. I think [my high school experience] gave me an edge over other students and also made me better at thinking outside of the box.
ScholarUp: What was your reaction when you found out you won?
Avri: I was very surprised when I received such a big scholarship. More high-dollar scholarships like the Philips scholarship should be available to worthy students. I plan to renew my scholarship until I am done with my undergraduate degree and I am more motivated to do well in school knowing that a large amount of money depends on it.
ScholarUp: How did winning the scholarship impact your life? Has it helped you achieve any goals?
Avri: The scholarship is hugely helpful in paying for my college education, which is absurdly expensive these days. I would have been able to attend college if I had not won the scholarship, but not at such an incredible and prestigious university as Northeastern. I really wanted to go here because of the location in Boston and the co-op program they offer.
ScholarUp: How has your Israeli heritage and upbringing impacted your view on education – do you have a different perspective on going to college or on the importance of getting an education?
Avri: Having grown up in Israel definitely makes me appreciate college a lot more. In Israel, high school students graduate and go directly into the Army. But I got to go to college right after high school, which is a privilege that I am grateful for. Going to school in the United States gives me more opportunities for career paths and jobs in the future.
ScholarUp: Speaking of your future, what are your plans? Do you know what you want to do when you graduate from college?
Avri: I don't really want to think that far ahead, but I suppose my dream job would involve cars, motorcycles, mechanics and going fast. Any combination of those things would be amazing.
Like Philips Electronics, many corporations offer scholarship or tuition programs for their employees and their employees’ children. Talk to your parents or employer to research the opportunities available for you!