The first time Alexander Wren visited the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC), he set a goal to one day return as an employee. His dream came true on October 14 when he started his career with Honeywell as a materials supplier.
Alexander is the first Honeywell Opportunity for Prosperity for Education (HOPE) Scholarship recipient to land a full-time job at the KCNSC. The program put him on the fast-track to landing a rewarding career at the age of 20 with no college debt.
Alexander first heard about the scholarship program during his senior year at Ruskin High School in Kansas City, Mo. He applied for and received a full scholarship to Metropolitan Community College. Alexander and his family attended Honeywell’s Education Celebration in May 2018, where he was honored as a scholarship recipient.
A few weeks later, he returned to tour the KCNSC and started exploring potential career paths.
“I liked what I saw that day,” Alexander said. “I didn’t know if I would be 20 or 30 years old by the time I worked at Honeywell, but I was determined to be here.”
As part of the HOPE program, Alexander was mentored by Charles Hendon, an engineering technical specialist. Charles says Alexander was motivated and driven since day one, and his role was to support and encourage him to stay focused.
“He came into it with a lot of motivation, and it’s inspiring to see someone that’s so motivated get through school and get a full-time job at a place like this,” said Charles.
Alexander engaged in the program, attended mock interviews and built a strong relationship with Charles. When a materials supplier position opened up, Charles encouraged Alexander to apply.
“We just went into the interview and evaluated him like anyone else,” said Billy Pazdera, ISC supervisor. “He was very confident and mature for his age, and he definitely earned his position.”
Alexander’s drive is impressive. He will complete his associate’s degree in computer science from Longview Community College in May 2021. His ultimate goal to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He hopes to take advantage of another Honeywell educational opportunity to advance his education, the Educational Assistance Program.
“I’ve accomplished something no one in my family has accomplished yet,” said Alexander. “And I still have more to accomplish.”
Honeywell FM&T president John Ricciardelli created the HOPE scholarship in 2017 to help build a pipeline of young talent for manufacturing positions. He met with Alexander last week to welcome him to the company, and congratulate him on his well-earned success.
There are 40 HOPE scholarship students currently enrolled in community college programs in Kansas City and Albuquerque.