Phoenix, Ariz.-based Insectek Pest Solutions, a locally -owned and -operated pest control company, launched an annual scholarship program granting two secondary education scholarships to qualifying youth who are looking to attend a college or a trade school.
In its first year, two $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to deserving high school students. One will be awarded to a student on track to attend a traditional college (community, university or junior) and one to a student planning to attend a trade school.
Insectek Pest Solutions opened up the scholarship program on Nov. 1, 2022 to Arizona high school seniors who meet specific academic criteria. Those looking to apply for the college scholarship must have a 3.0 GPA, and those who hope to earn the trade school scholarship must have a 2.5 GPA.
Founded by North Phoenix residents Jenny and Ben McAvoy in 2013, Insectek Pest Solutions was, according to a news release, “born out of being disenchanted with the corporate lifestyle and being equally frustrated with service providers who sold a big customer service game but rarely delivered on those promises of putting customers first. The McAvoys started Insectek Pest Solutions to change the negative reputation and stigma of pest control companies both for pest control customers and for employees working in the industry. This was a big driver in launching the scholarship program.”
“As a Chinese immigrant who moved here with my parents when I was just four years old, we had very limited access to the industries of corporate America for career options, especially since we didn’t have the funds for a college education,” said Jenny McAvoy, co-founder of Insectek Pest Solutions. “It was because of scholarships that a college education was possible for me. Those scholarships enabled me to achieve a bachelor’s degree in business management where I learned the skills I now use every day to operate Insectek.”
Both founders believe strongly in secondary education, and trade schools represent a huge opportunity given the overall skilled trade workers shortage in the U.S. For example, today there are somewhere around 650,000 open construction jobs in the U.S. and 10 million unfilled manufacturing jobs globally.
“The burden of student loans isn’t appealing to many, and with trade schools you often pay a third or less of the cost of traditional college, and you can begin your career pretty much right away,” said Ben McAvoy, co-founder of Insectek Pest Solutions. “A trade school education and experience can turn into an entrepreneurial endeavor in the future or help you get your foot in the door to starting a career in major industries. We want to support tradespeople; they are critical to our economy.”
To apply for the Insectek scholarship, applicants must create a short video bio sharing more information about their background, goals, hobbies and future plans. Submissions will close on April 1, 2023, and winners will be announced on May 1, 2023.