Tara Carney Memorial Scholarship

Memorial Scholarship Focuses on STEM Education in Denver

At McKinstry, we are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals to join us in building a thriving planet. One of our four values, Make a Positive Difference, guides us to advocate for young learners and better the lives of others to create strong communities. In our Golden, Colorado location, McKinstry team members support communities throughout the state in a variety of ways. As one of our longest standing partnerships, we have been honored to engage with young people throughout Denver Public Schools for nearly ten years, creating impactful STEM experiences for underserved students.

Tara Carney was McKinstry’s Colorado regional director for energy and a steadfast advocate for women and girls in STEM. She served for nearly a decade as a mentor and volunteer in Denver Public Schools, working to grow and guide the next generation of girls toward success in STEM fields. Sadly, Tara lost her battle with cancer in late 2022.

It is in Tara’s legacy that we announce the Tara Carney Memorial Scholarship, open for young women enrolled in a Denver Public School and graduating in 2023 to receive a $1,000 scholarship to support their aspirations towards a post-secondary STEM pathway.

“McKinstry is deeply committed to supporting equitable access and high-quality opportunities for underrepresented and underserved youth nationwide,” said Ashley Ruiz, director of social impact. “The funds for this memorial scholarship came from Tara’s recognition as one of our 2022 Impact Award winners. For nearly a decade at McKinstry, Tara demonstrated a deep commitment to nurturing the next generation of women in construction through student mentorship in Denver Public Schools. We hope that this scholarship both honors her contributions and maintains her legacy of elevating and amplifying women in STEM.”

Tara’s story and growth in her field shows what can be achieved with tenacity and dedication. She joined McKinstry in 2013 as senior construction manager for energy in the mountain region. In 2018, she became the leader of the team as construction services manager and in 2019, Tara took an opportunity to learn our business from a different angle, moving into a project director role. Tara’s creativity and competitive nature played a vital role in McKinstry’s success and in early 2022, Tara was promoted to regional director of energy. Tara not only worked hard and loved her job, she also personified McKinstry’s values by putting people first, being constantly curious, building trusted partnerships, and most certainly, making a positive difference.

Tara leaves a lasting legacy at McKinstry and in our Colorado community. She fearlessly led the way as a female in a male-dominated industry and inspired her colleagues and those she mentored and inspired. It is in her honor we will continue to support the next generation of STEM professionals and do our part to ensure STEM education is available to all who want to pursue it.

Together, building a thriving planet.

For those in Denver who are interested and fit the criteria, apply here.

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