Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bemley Scholar Adwait Walimbe Seeks Computer Science Degree from University of Minnesota

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to award a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship in the amount of $11,500 to BDPA Southern Minnesota student member Adwait WalimbeThis is the largest single college scholarship ever awarded in the history of our foundation.  Adwait is using this scholarship to pursue a Computer Science degree from the University of Minnesota.

There have been thousands of high school students competing in our national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships over the past quarter-century. Only two of those students (Yaa Kwansa and Brittany Middleton) have ever been national HSCC champions in four consecutive years. Adwait is the first student in BDPA history to be a FIVE-TIME national HSCC champion!

Adwait is a remarkable young man and a role model for BDPA students all across the nation. He created his own IT consulting firm six years ago and through that firm he became the founder of his own start-up, Socialdecks - an online, flashcard-based education system.

We asked Adwait to share his thoughts about BDPA in the following testimonial:

My name is Adwait Walimbe, and I am currently attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I joined the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter Youth Computer Training Program (YCTP) as a 7th grader in 2006. Over the next five years I was a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter. Our team won the national HSCC championship in all five of those years (2007-2011).

I met some very influential mentors, volunteers and peers over the course of my participation in the program. YCTP is conducted from December through May in Rochester MN, with HSCC practice in June and July. The national HSCC championships take place in August.

I was an eager and motivated student during my first year in the program. I enjoyed working hard to absorb as much new knowledge as possible. My strategy was to always self-study in order to stay a week ahead. Because of my young age in 2006, I was ineligible to compete as part of the HSCC team. I used that year as an opportunity to prepare for success over the next five. My passion for technology and the support of mentors who challenged me to succeed helped me build a solid foundation for success as a member of the chapter’s HSCC team over the next five years.

2010 Nat'l HSCC Champs!
I served as the ‘Technical Lead’ on my team in the first two years (2007-2008). I later grew into the role as ‘Project Manager’ over the next three years (2009-2011). Over the years, I worked with a group of smart, talented students who had very different team dynamics. The one consistent factor in all five years is that we were all motivated to do well at the national HSCC championship.
In 2012 I accepted a leadership position on the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter board of directors. I am currently the chapter’s vice president of technology and I hope to contribute to the growth of our chapter.

My BDPA experiences, especially the advice from my BDPA mentors, led me to decision to attend the University of Minnesota where I pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Software Engineering. Through BDPA I completed an internship last year with Mayo Clinic. I recently accepted a summer internship as a program manager with Microsoft.

Adwait is a shining example of the BDPA vision to advance the careers of people in the Information Technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom. Can any of us doubt that Adwait Walimbe is the future face of technology?!

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