A few months ago I received this message on my Facebook from Erick Scarpone:
“Milka, many years ago you helped us in the Formula SAE UCV project. I just wanted to get a message through to you and thank you very much, and to let you know that thanks to my participation in this competition that you helped make possible, I ended up earning a scholarship and a degree in Automotive Engineering & Manufacturing at a university in Michigan and today I work for Caterpillar. Thanks for the support at the time, and I leave this message of thanks to let you know that your support changed my life. "
When I read this I really felt very pleased, but even more so I'll tell you why. I met Erick in 2004 when he was the team captain of the Central University of Venezuela with the goal to participate in an international competition among universities around the world, in which students had to design, build and race a small formula-style race car. Subsequently Erick graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the university in Venezuela and earned a scholarship to Kettering University in Michigan.
I was excited with the project and at the time and I was able to obtain a financial sponsorship to help Erick and his team. When the Dean of Engineering at the University saw the support received and howthe students wereinspiredandmotivatedto participate in this competition, the school decided to support the team 100%.
I had the opportunity to visit Erick and other students while they were working very hard on the project and it was an honor and privilege to interact with them, encourage them and offer suggestions and any contributions thatI could.
The competition is in Michigan each year and in 2005 it was held at the Silverdome and the team from the Central University of Venezuela managed to finish in 99th out of 140 teams.
While attending Kettering University in 2007 and 2008, Erick not only remained as part of the competition - but now with Team Kettering - he continued to help Venezuelan teams during those years also. Even after graduating from Kettering - obtaining a Master's degree in Manufacturing Engineering - he has not stopped helping and volunteering in the competitions - and even he has served as a judge.
Erick has been working in the USA for Caterpillar, Inc. in Illinois for the past 6 years as a manufacturing engineer. He continues to welcome and help Venezuelan students competing in the contest each year. Four of his colleagues at the university in Venezuela have also won scholarships to attend school in the USA and now they are living and working in this country.
I admire and respect Erick since he also represents the spirit of "giving back" - that is he is not only content with achieving his own goals and objectives - but also has as one of his goals to also help and assist others along the way!
I look forward to hearing about Erick’s success and the young people who he continues to help!
Sometimes we do not know the impact that we can create for other people and it's so satisfying to know that one has achieved to motivate and inspire others to succeed.
For all this Erick becomes part of the section of academic excellence of the Milka Way program (www.milkaway.com)
Bravisimo Erick !!!!!!!