The BTX Foundation: A New Community for Black Engineers
Beyond providing hands-on experience working with real clients, QUEST is a tight-knit community within the University of Maryland. For alumna Kelsey Earle (Cohort 23, Mechanical Engineering ’17), the community was a significant reason why she joined QUEST. To continue this legacy, Kelsey is currently building a community for Black engineering students and alumni at UMD through her latest enterprise, the BTX Foundation.
Kelsey formed the BTX Foundation with eight of her closest friends and fellow Black A. James Clark School of Engineering graduates. A Consultant at Deloitte, Kelsey attributes her academic and professional success to her friends, explaining that together they formed a “safe space to build community and push each other forward.” In founding the BTX Foundation, Kelsey wanted to provide professional and financial support for underrepresented engineering students.
The BTX Foundation intends to provide professional development to students through a mentorship program and peer-to-peer sessions. Currently, Kelsey and her co-founders are hosting meet-and-greet events with engineering affinity organizations on campus to provide guidance and feedback to current students. They are developing a mentorship program to help students network, as contacts at companies are often helpful for students to launch themselves into the professional world and gain experience.
As the President of the Board of Directors, Kelsey is responsible for leading several committees behind the BTX Foundation, including fundraising, social media/public relations, and programming. She leads team-wide meetings and spearheads the budgeting and finance committee, all while working full-time at Deloitte. She attributes many of her skills necessary for both her job and leadership of the BTX Foundation to her time in QUEST; beyond developing soft skills such as client relationship management and public speaking, Kelsey emphasized how the two organizations “align on teamwork and the integration of people.” She shared that she is continuously applying lessons learned during her three years in QUEST to her work on the BTX Foundation, driving its growth and impact.
Attention engineering students! The BTX Legacy Award is a scholarship “to provide financial assistance to ensure future engineers are capable of achieving their academic goals.” The deadline to apply for the Spring 2021 semester is November 26, 2020, but Kelsey emphasizes the importance of applying early to potentially increase your likelihood of receiving the scholarship, the amount of money provided, as well as the number of awardees. QUEST is proud of Kelsey’s initiative and commitment to the UMD community and is excited to see the BTX Foundation prosper! Learn more and apply at https://www.thebtxfoundation.org/btxlegacyaward.