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In the second installment of our Diversity in Technology Scholarship blog series, we are sharing inspirational words and stories from our eight Black Students in Technology Scholarship recipients. They were selected based on their outstanding academic records, leadership potential, and recommendations by their professors and advisors.
Take a look at what each of them shared about their passion for technology and advice to other underrepresented students pursuing careers in technology. You can also watch the video below to delve deeper into the stories of three of the students to learn about their experiences, dreams, and visions for the future.
Congratulations again to these students for all that they have achieved thus far. We also want to recognize all the students who submitted applications. These are just a few of the countless students working in STEM who inspire us. Thank you to each student for sharing their story with us and for the impact they’re having on the world of technology.
Oludotun Ode, Georgia Institute of Technology
Either of the following statements can be true: 1) engineering is impossibly hard; 2) engineering is fun. It's hard when you get stuck and you don't look for help because you're afraid to look bad. Find the resources that you trust to get you unstuck when you find certain topics very challenging (e.g., YouTube, online courses, fellow students, textbooks, and your professors), and you'll almost certainly have a blast in engineering.
Concepta Njolima, Berea College
Do not give up! As cliché as it might sound, persevering through all the challenges in pursuing an engineering-related degree as an underrepresented person is crucial. A lot of challenges will come your way but keep moving through it all towards your dreams.
Ahmed Ahmed, Stanford University
As a kid, I loved reading history books to learn about the economic development of the world, and how humans evolved from hunter-gatherers to the industrial era all the way to the modern age of information today. This pushed me to study engineering in college, and thanks to a pre-collegiate summer program and an introductory seminar by Turing award winner John Hennessy on the history of computing, I realized that Computer Science is the most powerful catalyst today for adding value at a massive scale. After my freshman year, I knew I wanted to major in Computer Science.
Adou Sangbone Joseph Desire Assoa, Georgia Institute of Technology
Many students from minority groups, myself included, are victims of imposter syndrome throughout their academic careers. The sentiment of not belonging or not being "smart enough" might push certain people to drop out or miss opportunities. The most effective way to fight imposter syndrome is to remind ourselves of our accomplishments when in doubt. We deserve to be where we are, not because of luck but because of our hard work.
Juzel Lloyd, Howard University
Never forget the value of having a supportive community. You're not alone. If you don't see the community, perhaps you can be the catalyst to build one.
Mercy J. Daniel Aguebor, Georgia Institute of Technology
The sky is the limit with bringing imagination into existence, and while there might not always be a clear path to achieve a goal, maybe due to upbringing, class, education, there is still a path, and if you expose yourself and search in the right places, everything is possible.
Alyssa Sousa, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
The advice I would give is to continue to pursue your goals regardless of what others stay, you deserve to be an engineer just as much as anyone else, so do what makes you happy. I would also say make sure that you have an equal balance of work and play. This means that you come up with an organized schedule weekly so that you break down your work and get it done on time but have time to also do self-care and take care of your mental emotional and physical health.
Michael Ibeto, North Carolina State University
Innovation is what makes the world grow to become a more comfortable place to live in. I chose a technical degree because it lets me innovate, it gives me the opportunity to impact the world in different ways while growing intellectually, and it puts me around like-minded people who love solving problems.
Cadence Awards 31 Diversity Scholarships to Students in Technology