Gerdau, the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world, awarded individual scholarships totaling $25,000 to three Fort Smith area students last Thursday at an honorary ceremony held at the company’s Fort Smith, Ark., special steel mill.
The prestigious Gerdau scholarships were offered to children of Gerdau employees who showed exemplary academic promise. Among this year’s recipients were Eric and Michelle Huynh, and Kayla Menz.
"Gerdau seeks to recognize students who excel academically, demonstrate leadership skills, and support the community," said Darrel Moore, general manager of Gerdau’s Fort Smith mill. "We are proud to support Eric, Michelle, and Kayla in furthering their education and we wish them success in their future endeavors."
The students were presented their awards by Jack Finlayson, president of Gerdau’s North American special steel division. "The Gerdau Scholarship Program is part of our overall commitment to continuing education opportunities for Gerdau employees and their families," said Finlayson. "By committing to education, we are fostering future leaders to make a positive impact in their communities."
Eric Huynh’s father, Philip Huynh, works as a metallurgical technician at Gerdau’s Fort Smith mill. Eric’s dedication to academics at Greenwood High School landed him the honor of serving as valedictorian for the class of 2014. While attending Greenwood High School, Eric was an active member of Future Business Leaders of America, chess club, and also led the quiz bowl team. Eric will begin studying computer science and pre-med when attending Hendrix College in the fall.
Philip Huynh’s daughter, Michelle Huynh, is also one of this year’s recipients of the Gerdau scholarship. Michelle recently completed her freshman year at Hendrix College, where she is pursuing a multidisciplinary major of biochemistry and molecular biology. Her future plans include going to medical school or graduate studies. During summer breaks, Michelle enjoys volunteering in her community. This summer, she will be working on a service project abroad for the first time.
Kayla Menz, is the daughter of Brian Menz, who is a metallurgical technician at Gerdau’s Fort Smith mill. Kayla recently completed her first year at Cleveland State University, where she is majoring in theatre arts and minoring in dance. She is a member of the University Scholars program and earned a directing scholarship from the Department of Theatre and Dance for the 2014-15 school year. Last year, Kayla was selected to be the stage manager for one of the three main stage productions presented by Cleveland State University. The production was held in Cleveland Ohio’s Playhouse Square District, which is the second largest theater district in the United States.
Gerdau began the scholarship program in 1981 as a way to recognize and encourage academically talented students. Since its inception, the scholarship program has provided support to dozens of children of Gerdau employees. The annual competition, which awarded 15 Gerdau scholarships in North America this year, was conducted through an impartial third-party, International Scholarships and Tuition Services. Selection was very difficult and Gerdau wishes to acknowledge all the students who applied for their academic achievements.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has more than 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of more than 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of Sao Paulo, New York and Madrid and has approximately 140,000 shareholders.