Amazon revealed 100 lucky winners who will receive the first “Amazon Future Engineer” scholarships as part of the tech giant’s push to promote education and careers in computer science.
High school seniors from 32 states across the country — including three girls from Washington state — will receive scholarships of $10,000 per year over four years to study computer science at the college of their choice.
The winners will also receive a guaranteed paid internship offer at Amazon after their freshmen year of college to gain work experience, the company said in a news release.
The three winners from Washington are Annie Vo of Seattle’s Franklin High School; Parker Landsman of Orcas Island High School in Eastsound, Wash.; and Hyeon Jeong Choi of Olympia High School in Lacey, Wash.
The 100 winners were chosen for their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and diversity, Amazon said. And all of the recipients demonstrated financial need and more than half of the students are from an underrepresented group in the computer science field.
Vo, 17, told GeekWire that she planned to attend the University of Pennsylvania where she will likely double major in finance and computer science.
“I can’t believe it!” she said when asked how she reacted to being one of a select group of winners. All of the winners were notified when they opened an Amazon box, of course, and found a certificate inside naming them as a scholarship recipient.
Vo, who received a letter of recommendation from David Ackerman, her former computer science teacher at Franklin, has a strong interest in math and CS and will be attending Penn’s prestigious Wharton School of Business.
“My dream job was to be a finance officer at a tech company. Amazon would fit that description,” she laughed.
Yep, that’s me. I was lucky to be exposed to tech and coding at a young age. Inspired a lifelong love of invention. I hope the new Amazon Future Engineer program does the same for some kids today. https://t.co/xNUdyVMOnb pic.twitter.com/RPZEiIHSap
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 1, 2018
Launched last November, Amazon Future Engineer is taking the childhood-to-career approach to inspire and educate children and young adults. It’s part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. The company has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote such programs across the country.
“We are confident that these scholarship recipients are our country’s next generation of world-changing inventors and leaders. They are an impressive, hard-working group, and we’re thrilled to call them our first class of Amazon Future Engineer scholarship winners,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s worldwide consumer CEO, said in a statement. “This scholarship is a reflection of our appreciation for the work these students have done so far, and an investment in them and the future we all share. We are eager to see the bold paths paved by these students as college students, Amazon interns, and beyond.”
Read more about Amazon’s program and the winners in this blog post.