NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — High school students interested in studying STEM and bioscience in New Haven now have another opportunity to enter the growing industry. 

Laila Mohammed, a senior at Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven wants to become a physical therapist but said it will be difficult as she will be a first-generation college student.

“I don’t really have any money to pay for tuition because college is a lot of money,” Mohammed said.

A new program could ease the burden for local students. New Haven city and school leaders announced a $200,000 dollar fund, providing scholarships to students in the Hill, Dwight, and downtown neighborhoods.

Those enrolled in bioscience and stem-related programs at Gateway Community College could receive up to $3,000 per year, for up to two years. 

Students enrolled in the biopath program at Southern Connecticut State University could receive up to $5,000 dollars a year for up to four years.

“It helps a lot, actually. It’s $5,000. Most people don’t think that’s a lot, but to me that’s a lot,” Mohammed said.

The new program is part of the 101 College Street Project, a 500,000-square-foot lab and incubator space under construction in New Haven.

Leaders said the scholarship is also a construction project by demolishing financial barriers for students and building their careers.

“This scholarship is a powerful statement that we believe in our city’s young people, what they can do, what they are capable of, and that we are prepared to invest in their long-term success,” said Dr. WIlliam Brown, CEO of Gateway Community College.

And that success invests back into connecticut.

“More than 85 percent of the graduates, who attend Southern and Gateway, stay and live in the state and in the city of New Haven,” said Dr. Joseph Bertolino, President of Southern Connecticut State University.

Applications will open in February and the exact date will be announced at a later time.