How am I going to stay in school?

That was my very first thought when I got the news four years ago that my part-time job was being phased out due to budget cuts.

Being a student of engineering, I immediately went to work to find a solution. I tallied all the money I’d saved and considered all the possibilities for earning or borrowing more ... but the numbers just didn’t add up. My parents desperately wanted to help, but I come from a lower class seven-member family, and they had no money to spare.

So I had to face facts: Without a job like the one I had, there was no way I could afford my tuition for the coming year. I was heartbroken. I laid awake all that night staring out the window at the starry sky, thinking about satellite trajectories, wondering what my own trajectory in life would be, and worrying that I’d never reach the future I’d fought so hard for.

The next day at work something amazing happened. Call it luck, call it a coincidence, call it whatever you want. I call it a miracle. While waiting to learn if a satellite I’d worked on would launch that day, I decided to check my email. There in my inbox was a message from ASME that would change my life....

I’d been awarded the 2011 Kenneth Andrew Roe Scholarship — ASME’s highest level scholarship and the most money a student can receive in a single year!

I was so overcome by emotion, I had to flee the launch viewing room and duck into the hallway just to hold it together. I called my mother and told her the good news. And when I heard her start to cry, I couldn’t hold back my own tears any longer.

Thanks to ASME, I was able to stay in school

and complete my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) at Drexel University. Now I’m working full-time for a major aerospace company. I can’t imagine how different my trajectory in life would have been without ASME. And I’m not alone. ASME generously awarded $324,000 to 85 students in 2013. And that’s just a fraction of the programs and awards ASME provides to engineers and engineering students all over the world.

ASME is not only advancing the future of engineers like me but the future of engineering itself. It’s my dream to one day start an ASME scholarship fund to pay forward the generosity I received.

Until then, I’ll show my thanks by contributing to the Foundation, sharing my story, and encouraging others to become members of the organization that saved my education.

Please support ASME by giving what you can, and help ASME make a difference for talented engineering students in need, just like it did for me.

With gratitude,

Danielle Jacobson