|Andre Garner * University of Illinois|
Andre Garner was asked to share his story with us. He wrote,
"As a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I look forward to studying computer science at one of the nation’s top preparatory schools for aspiring technology innovators. In addition to my interest in gaming, I am particularly interested in helping to expand the reach of high technology to include more people and communities often left out of this exciting area.
In June of 2016, I graduated from Chicago’s Lindblom Math & Science Academy after four-years of academic and social rigor that helped to expand my knowledge of technology, math, science, language, culture and history among other areas. During my Lindblom experience, I was introduced to a diverse cross section of people and experiences. I competed in game design competitions and conferences. I was exposed to Asian, Pacific Island, Caribbean, Latin and Persian Gulf food, art and cultures. Most importantly, my interest was piqued about the vast world of possibilities beyond my home community and the world I had known my entire life.
With technology and gaming being of particular interest to me, I have intentionally sought to expand my knowledge of the unfamiliar and remain open to the limitless possibilities that might only be realized through the further globalization of technology and innovation.
With that in mind, I have served as a volunteer with a number of organizations, including a local church-based food pantry, an annual Thanksgiving food give-a-way organized by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and leveraging my technology skills in helping an organization created to honor the 100th Anniversary of the cultural movement that brought the families of both my parents to Chicago from the Deep South, The Great Migration. I also spent three years as a volunteer member of the computer maintenance and repair team overseeing technology equipment throughout the campus at my high school.
In planning for college, I sought admission to schools with strong computer science and technology programs to help me toward my goal of developing cutting-edge gaming products while working with youth in underserved communities to become proficient in coding and technology applications. My most recent summer internship experience with Chicago’s Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation’s Urban Tech Squad helped further define my desire to lead and develop engaging social and academic programs for youth.
Just a few months ago, I was encouraged by family members and mentors with the Urban Tech Squad to sign-up for a student membership with the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). Through BDPA, I look forward to working with seasoned professionals in the technology arena to further plan both my career and my desire to develop opportunities in technology in communities throughout my home town of Chicago and other places around the world in need of illumination from the light of technology."
Andre is a remarkable young man with great skills. BDPA looks forward to following his career as he progresses through college and on into his career!