For Ashley Weber (’19, Business), participating in Kettering Keepers is her way of staying connected to the University after graduation.
“I think it’s easy to fall off and lose that connection to campus if you don’t do activities like that,” she said.
Her gift goes to the Women Helping Women scholarship fund.
“We do know women in STEM are still a skewed percentage of people in programs and the workforce,” Weber said.
She said the relationships she built with other women on campus were like a sisterhood. There’s a special connection when she meets other alumnae in the workforce who went through similar experiences.
“I also want to inspire the next generation,” Weber said. “I think women have a special place in STEM and manufacturing.”
Like Horcasitas, she encourages graduates to think about what they got from their experiences and how they can pay it forward.
“There’s a lot that went into your programs and your education,” Weber said. “I think if you benefited from something, it is good to pay it back for future students.”
Also recognizing that others’ generosity helped him attend Kettering, Horcasitas wanted to do the same for others.
“Think about what you got out of the University, especially the things that are extracurricular and not part of the typical co-op or school experience, and think about how much better it could have been if it was better-funded,” Horcasitas said. “Someone who donates doesn’t have to give thousands of dollars; it could be a couple of hundred a year or $5 or $10 a month.”
He understands school was expensive for some, but he said graduates should consider what they’ve accomplished with their education and give back.
Without the LEADERS program, Horcasitas said he may not have gotten his first job. He was able to make connections that led to a letter of recommendation that helped him land his first full-time role after graduation.
“Being around other like-minded individuals who are interested in leadership development, doing that on your own is very different from being around others,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t be as successful as I am now without a program like LEADERS.”
Horcasitas, a program manager at Google, plans to increase his gift in the future and look into the company’s employee match program. Eventually, he said he’d like to set up a fund or scholarship.
Weber, a program manager at tooling and industrial materials supplier Kennametal, also plans to increase her gift as she progresses in her career.
“Kettering keeps growing, and we want to make sure the students after us have an even better experience than we had there,” she said. “I think it’s important to stay involved and Kettering’s legacy continues to grow.”