Last week, representatives from Dallas ISD, Amazon, and BootUp PD, joined by Texas Sen. Nathan Johnson, surprised four students with $40,000 scholarships during a celebratory computer skills-focused visit to Everette L. DeGolyer Elementary School.
Invited to DeGolyer as Computer Science High School Ambassadors, four high school seniors were surprised to be named Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipients. Each scholar will receive $40,000 over four years to pursue a computer science degree at a college of their choice and a paid internship offer at Amazon after their first year of college. The Dallas ISD students were four of 250 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipients from across the country to receive the award this year.
Dallas ISD’s scholarship recipients are Brenda Campuzano, from Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School; Axel Livias, from Skyline High School; and Angie Landin and Ephraim Sun, from Townview’s School for the Talented and Gifted and School of Science and Engineering, respectively.
“Dallas ISD’s partnership with Amazon Future Engineer inspires kids and makes it possible for them to pursue rewarding STEM careers. Many of these kids might not otherwise have seen that path as being open to them,” said Sen. Johnson. “As demand for STEM fields continues to outpace supply, that path is certainly open. I’m proud of these scholarship recipients, and look forward to them helping us – equipped as they will be with educations in STEM subjects but also in the arts and social sciences – answer new questions and rise to new challenges brought by an increasingly technology-based future.”
While the surprise was one highlight of the morning, the special guests also celebrated the district’s two-year partnership with Amazon and BootUp. This valuable collaboration allows teachers at 74 elementary schools to receive the resources and training needed to effectively implement computer science instruction for nearly 30,000 students. At DeGolyer, a partner school, teachers make sure their students use coding basics creatively to become technology innovators and problem solvers.
“Exposure to computer science in elementary school creates a pipeline of students interested in pursuing similar secondary school and college pathways,” said Jeff Marx, Dallas ISD director of Computer Science and Technology.
The guests observed elementary students showcase their computer science skills during a BootUp session. Kindergartner Arlo West also received the Dallas ISD 2022 STEM Expo Coding Competition “Virtually Making a Difference” monetary gift for his winning project to help save polar bears.
“It’s critical that we increase opportunity for all students to pursue computer science and STEM education. Young people are the engineers of the future, with the possibility to build a better world for themselves and for us all,” said Victor Reinoso, Global Director of Amazon’s philanthropic education initiatives. “Dallas ISD’s exemplary commitment to help bridge the divide between interested students and computer science courses district-wide is evidenced by the accomplishments of students and teachers at DeGolyer and their four Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipients. We look forward to seeing all they will achieve.”