Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bemley Scholar Austin Little Continues STEM-Based Education at Morehouse College

Austin Little
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) proudly announces that a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship has been awarded to Austin Little. Austin earned the Bemley Scholarship as a result of the silver medal won by the team trained by BDPA Detroit chapter at the 2011 National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships. The scholarship will be used to participate in Morehouse College’s dual degree engineering program where he will obtain degrees in mathematics and operations research. With these two undergraduate degrees, Austin hopes to matriculate into a doctoral program in operations research. From there he will explore in the areas of consulting, research, and professorship.

Austin agreed to share his remembrance of the HSCC experience:

Growing up in West Bloomfield, Michigan most of the kids in my neighborhood were asleep on Saturday mornings while I was at Wayne State University taking engineering classes. I have always had an interest in engineering and technology. My father introduced me to technology because he believed I would benefit from the knowledge. He was right in following his instinct because I participated in very selective programs that developed my critical thinking and curiosity. The challenge for me was to maintain balance, and I did this by participating in sports, the community, civic groups, and school organizations. My involvement in sports, technology programs, community service and school organizations helped shape the person I am today.

In addition to being involved in sports my entire life, I have also been involved in DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre College Engineering Program) since kindergarten. Through this program, I have been exposed to technology such as QBasic and VEX Robotics. QBasic exposed me to the world of programming, and this is when I realized I would like to major in Operations Research.

I remember my father forcing me to attend the BDPA Detroit chapter informational session for HSCC. However after the first class period, I became extremely interested building websites and programming. Even though giving up Saturday’s to a five-hour programming class sounds rough, I left each class hungry for more knowledge so that I could try new ideas at home.

2011 HSCC Team (Detroit)
The entire HSCC experience was one like no other. The length of the classes and the entire program required tremendous sacrifice, but each hour in and outside the classroom was worth the skills I obtained. To this day I still think back to my HSCC class periods and wish I could go back. Outside of the programming and web design skills, I also learned valuable team work and time management skills. Working in a high-pressure environment provided me with experience few other programs can replicate.

Although I am no longer directly involved in computer science, I still use my programming skills and they will be instrumental in my future study interests.

BETF is proud to support young people like Austin! However, we need your support. Please take a moment to make a secure online donation in support of the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund so we can help more young squires like Austin!

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