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ARC Student Awarded Prestigious SMART Scholarship

June 8, 2021

Yolanda Reyes, a Computer Science and Physical Science/Mathematics student at American River College, was awarded the Department of Defense Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship.

This award provides students with full tuition for up to five years, summer internships, a stipend and full-time employment with the Department of Defense after graduation. This unique opportunity offers students hands-on experience at one of over 200 of the nation’s most innovative laboratories across the Army, Navy, Air Force and larger Department of Defense. During summer internships, SMART Scholars work directly with an experienced mentor, gaining valuable technical skills. After graduation Reyes will work at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Reyes is currently studying Computer Science and Electronics Technology, with a special focus in Computer Engineering. Reyes said about the award “It took me six years to finish my Associates of Science and transfer to California State University, Chico. In order to stay motivated I decided that I would strive to gain enough scholarships to fund my undergraduate degree even though I had never applied for one. I never could have imagined my hard work and dedication would not only fund my undergraduate degree but a master’s degree as well as pay me to stay in school. This award has made all my dreams come true and put me on a path toward a rewarding career as a civil servant supporting our United States Air Force. I am eternally grateful to the taxpayers and elected officials that support and work towards expanding programs such as the Pell Grant and the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation scholarship. Thank you!”

The Department of Defense is the largest employer of scientists and engineers in the nation with nearly 300,000 STEM professionals. For over a decade, SMART has trained a highly skilled STEM workforce that competes with the evolving trends of industry to support the next generation of science and technology for our nation.

For more information on the SMART Program or to learn how students can apply, please visit The application is open annually from August through December.