Helps Florida Woman Keep Dream Alive
From refining crude oil to purifying drinking water, 33-year-old Kimra Lewis has certainly experienced the full spectrum of working with vital natural resources. Already a certified wastewater operator, Lewis has dedicated herself to protecting Florida’s one-of-a-kind water ecosystem – and now she has her sights set on doing even more.
When Lewis found herself drawn to the challenges involving drinking water, she enrolled in Florida Gateway College’s Drinking Water Certification course. Just as financial challenges put this goal at risk, an advisor told Lewis about the Nestlé Waters “Every Drop Counts” scholarship.This one conversation kept her dream alive, and Lewis prevailed against tough competition to win the scholarship and the money it provided to continue her certification.
In 2011, Nestlé Waters Florida began partnering with Florida Gateway College’s Banner Center for Environmental Studies in Lake City, FL to offer the “Every Drop Counts” scholarship, The scholarship awarded to Kimra is one of two $1,250 needs-based awards offered by Nestlé Waters each year to Florida students interested in working in the field of water management. To be eligible, recipients must be taking classes in environmental science and expect to complete the program in less than a year.
While finishing up her drinking water certification, Lewis currently works at a waste water treatment facility near Orlando that serves more than 400,000 people. Lewis’ job includes taking samples, measuring contaminants and monitoring the purification process to make sure the water leaving the facility is much cleaner than when it came in.
“I would not have been able to afford that class without help from Nestlé Waters’ scholarship,” said Lewis. “This scholarship allows me to continue working in the field I love without having the burden of tuition looming over my head.”