Friday, August 11, 2017

Yaw Asante Uses His BCBS Scholarship at Princeton University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that BlueCross BlueShield Scholarship awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to Yaw Asante. Yaw is one of the BDPA Cincinnati HSCC students who will use the scholarship to support his education at Princeton University.

Yaw Asante * BCBS Scholar (2015)
Yaw Asante is a student with the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter. He is a native of Cincinnati, born to an Illinoisan mother and a Ghanaian father, and a graduate of Walnut Hills High School. He will start this fall at Princeton University where he plans to study molecular biology and computer science. As a student, he has varied set of interests. In class at Walnut Hills, he came to be in 11 AP classes, including high-level chemistry, physics, calculus and computer science courses. Outside of class, he promoted an environmentally conscious school campus with his school's Sustainability Club and argued policy in diplomatic with its Model United Nations Club. He maintains a firm belief that information technology is the most paramount field of our time and that understanding computers is the best way to improve the efficiency and precision of any system. He finds this especially pertinent in his summer position as a research intern with Cincinnati Children's Hospital in which he builds software tools and collects data to helps doctors better understand the nature of rare diseases. By actively seeking out opportunities to expand his technical abilities through both work and programs like BDPA, Yaw hopes to continue on through college and into the workforce to use computer science to analyze and improve systems that affect how we all live.

We asked Yaw to share his thoughts on his BDPA experience:

Yaw at BDPA Computer Camp
"For me, BDPA provided real-world experience in what it meant to be an information technology professional. Saturdays spent at BDPA were like forays into the professional world, with experiences that far exceeded my expectations. I began with BDPA in the spring of 2014, hoping to expand my knowledge of the world of computing. I had already had some experience with computers simply from use. However, with BDPA, I have been able to expand my knowledge even further. I learned about not only technical aspects of working in IT, like programming languages and software design skills, but also the professional aspects of IT. Our adviser, Mr. Frank Hill, would often take time out of the day to discuss with us the importance of group cooperation and time management. Many of these skills would be crucial as our team prepared for the High School Computer Competition.

Yaw (2nd from left) and other members of 2015 HSCC Team
Of my three experiences with HSCC, I remember the pre-competition practice session of the 2015 BDPA Technology Conference held in Washington DC. During that session, our full team of members, ranging for 10th to 12th grade, meticulously went down the list of programs required for our .NET application and began to formulate a game plan what we would do first, debate who would be at the computer first and go over what our timeline would look like. It was in this rehearsal that I saw poignantly how Mr. Hill's training could come together and just how much software development can depend on a well managed team.

I greatly appreciated the opportunity, afforded by BDPA, to get an early glimpse of the professional IT world and I now more eagerly await my chance to enter it. Armed with the lessons BDPA has taught me over the years, I hope to not only survive but thrive at what is to be the challenging yet rewarding experience of concentrating in computer science at college."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the BlueCross BlueShield Scholarship for BDPA Students. We look forward to supporting Yaw's career as he seeks to advance his career in the technology industry!

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