MRW/RSI Scholarship Program

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“We’re lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back, to educate them for jobs that no longer exist. We have become ‘profoundly disconnected’.” Mike Rowe “Dirty Jobs”

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation and The Refrigeration School (RSI) are pleased to announce the creation of the MRW/RSI Scholarship Program for high school seniors. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation (MRW) and The Refrigeration School (RSI) have partnered to offer scholarships at RSI’s campus in Phoenix, AZ. A total of 49 full-tuition paid scholarships will be offered, with a collective value of approximately $800,000, at its campus in Phoenix and its sister schools, Tulsa Welding School in Tulsa, OK and Jacksonville, FL.

Mary Kelly, CEO of RSI said, “Our country was built by skilled trades’ workers. Unfortunately, there has been a push in the last two decades to steer our children into four-year college programs, regardless of their own individual skills sets. The result is that we have a huge shortage of skilled trades’ workers and are scrambling to fill all these open positions. These scholarships will help us encourage those students who have the ability and the work ethic to succeed in fields of study like Refrigeration Technologies, Electro-Mechanical Technologies and Mechanical Maintenance Engineering.”

Mike Rowe, CEO of mikeroweWORKS added, “Well, I hate to jinx it, but I think we’re on a roll. 1.6 million dollars in mikeroweWORKS scholarships is a pretty big deal, and I’m hopeful more schools will follow MTI, Tulsa Welding School and The Refrigeration School. We’re on our way to building an affiliation of excellent trade schools that are not only determined to train the workers our country needs, but reward the kind of work ethic we all want to encourage.”

Last month, Mike Rowe announced that signing The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge would be a condition of all mrW scholarships. Mary Sullivan, President of mikeroweWORKS said, “Challenging kids is a critical part of all mrW Scholarships. The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge simply means Skills & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo. That’s the sentiment we want to encourage, and we’re actively looking for more schools with great placement rates that share our view. The question now is who’s next?”

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The Program

The MRW/RSI Scholarship Program works in 4 phases:

1. Applicants register for the program via the campus Facebook pages. A page with links to each campus is at:

2. Applicants submit required materials, including:

a. A 500 word essay explaining why the applicant is interested in a career in the skilled trades.

b. A copy of the S.W.E.A.T. (Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) Pledge signed by the applicant.

c. Proof of the applicant’s high school GPA.

d. Records reflecting the applicant’s exemplary high school attendance.

e. A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation (recommendations may come from teachers, coaches, counselors, community service organizations, or employers).

f. Documentation of the applicant’s need for financial aid.

3. Up to 100 of the top applicants at each campus will be asked to submit a 2-3 minute video, which will be posted on RSI’s Facebook page, explaining why the applicant deserves a MRW/RSI scholarship.

4. The public will choose the MRW/RSI Scholarship winners by voting on Facebook for the applicants the public believes most deserve the scholarship. The top applicants whose videos have the most votes will be awarded a full-tuition paid scholarship to one of RSI’s Programs.

Visit for a complete list of Terms and Conditions.

Applicant Qualifications

In order to qualify for the MRW/RSI Scholarship Program, applicants must be scheduled to graduate from high school during the 2013/2014 academic year.

About mikeroweWORKS

mikeroweWORKS was launched in 2008 as a Trade Resource Center for people seeking employment opportunities in the skilled trades. The initiative grew from the hit TV show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, and quickly turned into a grassroots PR Campaign for hard work and skilled labor.

As mikeroweWORKS began to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding “alternative education,” Mike Rowe quickly became the most visible and vocal advocate for millions of available jobs that required “hands-on” skill. He has testified before both houses of Congress regarding the country’s widening skills gap, the emerging student loan crisis, and the ever-changing perceptions of a “good job.”

In 2010, mikeroweWORKS became a non-profit Foundation and began to award tool scholarships, travel stipends, and other financial assistance to those pursuing a skilled trade. mikeroweWORKS scholarships are now synonymous with “Work Ethic Scholarship,” and Mike has partnered with numerous companies and like-minded organizations to reinvigorate the skilled trades. Most recently, mikeroweWORKS teamed up with Caterpillar to launch – a direct challenge to the marketing campaigns that currently promote four-year degrees at the expense of more affordable and more practical trade schools.

About The Refrigeration School (RSI)

The Refrigeration School (RSI), founded in 1965, has its campus in Phoenix, Arizona. RSI in Phoenix offers programs in Refrigeration Technologies, Electro-Mechanical Technologies and Mechanical Maintenance Engineering. The Refrigeration School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and is a member of the Career College Association.

Accredited School, ACCSC. Licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Post Secondary Education. GI Bill® Eligible (check with local campus for specific eligibility). For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete our programs, and other important information, please visit our website at:

Media Opportunities

All media inquiries should be directed to Shelly Short, [email protected] 602-490-3459.

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