Alameda High Student Named ‘Future Engineer’

Still from courtesy video    Alameda High School senior Ashley Chu overwhelmed with joy shortly after finding out she was one of 100 high school students to win $40,000 from Amazon.

Amazon announced April 2 that a student from Alameda High School will be one of the first recipients of an Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship. The $40,000 scholarship provides the student with funds to study computer science at a university of their choosing along with a paid internship at Amazon after their freshmen year of college.  

The student, Ashley Chu, is one of just 100 high school seniors from underserved communities across the country that will receive this first-ever scholarship.  

The 100 high school seniors from 32 states across the country will receive the Amazon Future Engineer scholarships of $10,000 per year over four years. Recipients were chosen for their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals and diversity. All of the recipients demonstrated financial need and more than half of the students are from an underrepresented group in the computer science field. 

“This scholarship is very important because it means when I go to college, I won’t have to constantly worry about money,” said Leo Jean Baptiste, from Orange High School in Orange, N.J. “I have an internship at one of the top companies in the world — I feel relieved knowing that I have the opportunity set up ahead of time.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and just 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but just 8 percent of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree. A small number come from underprivileged backgrounds. Students from these backgrounds are eight to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken Advanced Placement (AP) computer science in high school.

Launched in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science. 

Each year, Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire more than 10 million kids to explore computer science; provide some 100,000 young people in more than 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; award 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offer guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science and STEM education across the country.

Rising high school seniors can apply for the Amazon Future Engineer scholarship starting in November 2019. Requirements include: completion of an AP computer science course in high school, intent to pursue a computer science degree at a four-year college or university and a teacher recommendation. Amazon Future Engineer is currently accepting applications for the high school piece of its program at www.amazonfutureengineer.com.