Amarachi Kenneth-Gabriel , a Drexel University student
Cleveland, OH – Growing up the child of a former English teacher and a pharmacist, Amarachi Kenneth-Gabriel thought she would study the humanities or medicine when she went to college. But something inside of her was always fascinated by something else. “Although they are quite silly at times, I always enjoyed the Fast and Furious movies, especially the community building through a shared love of cars,” she recalled. “I wanted to be like Dominic Toretto, building and driving fast cars.”’ Her interest grew when, to escape the monotony of staying at home during the pandemic, she would ‘run errands’ with her mother in the family car. “We would end up going on random road trips with no real destinations,” she said, “just enjoying the fresh air and just being outside.”
Kenneth-Gabriel decided to focus on mechanical engineering during her college search, hoping to spark a career in the automotive industry. Drexel quickly stood out. “I wanted somewhere that fit me educationally, socially and financially,” she said. “On my visit to Drexel, I instantly fell in love with the vibe, its strong academic reputation and the diversity of both people, ideas, and activities.”
Knowing that two of her three boxes were checked, Kenneth-Gabriel searched the Drexel website for scholarship opportunities to help her defray costs. She applied for and received a Doug Peacock Scholarship. Sponsored by TransDigm Group Incorporated, a leading aerospace manufacturer, the Peacock Scholarship Program provides aid to students from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM. The program is named for Doug Peacock, a founding CEO and Chairman of the TransDigm’s Board, who started the company with Drexel alum Nick Howley (BS ‘75).
“The scholarship made the difference between attending Drexel — my ideal fit school — and going somewhere else that wouldn’t give me what I needed,” Kenneth-Gabriel said. “It’s encouraging to be a woman in engineering and seeing that there are programs that support the growth of diversity in the field.”
As a first-year student, Amarachi has already taken advantage of hands-on learning opportunities offered in her labs and classes, especially Engineering Design, where she applied design concepts to K’nex bridge building and designing race cars. She has also jumped into clubs like the National Society of Black Engineers, Black Student Union and African Student Association, and of course Formula SAE. The activities have helped her become a more well-rounded student.
“My connection to these groups has helped me find my people, my community, and given me support I needed in challenging classes,” she said. “Some of these people I have met have quickly become some of my favorites and I can see us being a community post-graduation.”
This post is an adaptation from an article written by been. This article can be found at https://drexel.edu/engineering/news-events/news/archive/2023/April/peacock-scholarship-amarachi-kenneth-gabriel/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=student