LRW Awards Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship and Future of Railroading Scholarship for 2020

Washington, DC, October 6, 2020 – The League of Railway Women (LRW) is excited to announce the winners of its two annual scholarship awards.
Washington, DC, October 6, 2020 – The League of Railway Women (LRW) is excited to announce the winners of its two annual scholarship awards.

Megan Forbes, Operations Manager, TrinityRail, a LRW Silver Corporate Partner, has been awarded the $2,000 Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship, for 2020. Megan is pursuing a MBA at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. 

This scholarship honors the memory of former LRW President Connie Sumara, a LRW founder and its longest-serving president. The award supports women pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees and seeking to further their careers in the rail industry.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship award,” said Forbes. “In seven years, my work in the rail industry and at TrinityRail has helped me become the leader I am today. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me, and I am excited as I look to the future of the rail industry and women in rail,” she said.

“The LRW received a record number of applications for this year's Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship,” said Crystal Gitchell, LRW Scholarship Chair. “It has been exciting to get to know the candidates and learn the ways women are transforming the rail industry. The scholarship review committee felt that Megan's academic accomplishments and her passion for promoting women's success in the industry made her the ideal recipient of this honor. We wish her the best of luck as she continues to further her education.”

Jessica Labrecque has been named the winner of the inaugural $1,000 LRW Future of Railroading Scholarship. Jessica is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Laval in Quebec City, Canada and is an intern for the Transportation and Railway Maintenance Department at the Iron Ore Company of Canada. 

This new scholarship helps inspire and encourage a student pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree with an interest in supporting the rail industry.

“Receiving the LRW Future of Railroading Scholarship is a great source of pride for me and an opportunity to be part of a larger female railway organization than the one I belong to on the North Shore of Quebec,” said winner Jessica Labrecque. “Being a recipient of this scholarship shows that the railroad industry has a lot to offer and I hope it will inspire other women to study and work in the field. I am grateful to the LRW for investing in my future, and for selecting me to receive this award.”

Said Gitchell, “The Future of Railroading Scholarship is brand new to the LRW! We had a great, diverse group of applications with candidates from outside of the industry that made for a tough decision. Jessica's pursuit of her education in engineering and her internship experience in the industrial field rose above others in a competitive field. We know she would have a bright career in railroading and wish her the best with her studies.”

For more information about the LRW scholarship program please visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Emilia Marceta, LRW Chair, Public Relations & Outreach,; Crystal Gitchell, LRW Scholarship Chair,

About the League of Railway Women

Founded in 1997, the League of Railway Women (LRW) is committed to improving the railroad industry by connecting and cultivating women in rail. Our mission is to advance the representation, recognition and opportunities for women, thereby promoting diversity and improving the business results of the railroad industry. Learn more at; follow the LRW on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.