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Tech Titans awards 4th annual Florence Shapiro STEM scholarship

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June 14, 2016
Written by Jacob Wallace, Communications Intern

Congratulations to Kiana Shirmanesh, the recipient of this year’s Tech Titans $5,000 Florence Shapiro STEM Scholarship. Shirmanesh is graduating from Plano West Senior High School this spring. She will attend the University of Texas at Dallas in the fall and plans to study biology and pre-med. 

Tech Titans established the Florence Shapiro STEM scholarship in 2013 and named it for the local former senator who spent years advocating for STEM education in the Texas legislature. It is awarded annually to a local graduating high school senior pursuing a degree in a STEM discipline at a local four-year college or university.

Pictured is Mrs. Shirmanesh; Bob Hill, chair of the Tech Titans talent team; Kiana Shirmanesh, Florence Shapiro, and Janine Alpert from the PISD Education Foundation.

“It is particularly pleasing to me that this year's recipient is a female,” Shapiro said. “I am very proud to have this scholarship tied to my name.”

Shirmanesh discovered her passion for medicine and aiding children’s physical and emotional health through one of her numerous volunteer experiences at Hope’s Door, where she met a troubled student in need of guidance.
"While volunteering at Hope’s Door, I made consistent efforts to know Cedric,” wrote Shirmanesh for Tech Titans. “I realized that Cedric was buried underneath self-critical thoughts. Through helping Cedric regain his positivity and improve his self-esteem, I confirmed my true passion is helping children.”
Shirmanesh is a gifted linguist who can communicate in four different languages, and she has been actively involved in her community through Habitat for Humanity, the Medical Center of Plano, and Brookhaven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.

Additionally, Shirmanesh has participated in the Health Occupations Students of America’s annual HOSA bowl three years in a row, and volunteers for Give Back a Smile, where survivors of dental injury through intimate partner violence can have damage to their smiles restored.

“My aunt is a dentist, and when I was young I would go to work with her,” Shirmanesh said. “She would make people happy. She's my superhero.”

Besides her involvement in the medical field, Shirmanesh also demonstrates her talent as a trombonist. She is a member of the Jazz, Concert, and Marching Bands at Plano West Senior High, and was selected to be a drum major for her school year. Additionally, she was selected by audition to be a member of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra from 2014 to the present.

An active student with a 3.7 GPA, Shirmanesh participates in several extracurricular activities, including National Honor Society, Junior World Affairs Council and Environmental Club. 

“My extensive experiences with leadership positions such as drum major and president of the Environmental Club at my high school have helped me enhance my ability to work with countless people and lead others effectively,” she said.
Amy Alexander, Director, Marketing and Communications
amy@techtitans.org, (972) 792-2862