Computer Science Education Week, held December 4-10 this year, is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for their equity, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners in the field. Commemorated across the country – this week gives Code Nation the opportunity to reflect on our own contributions to the field. This year’s CS Ed Week theme is CS Heroes – so we asked two of our leaders about their own journeys and the heroes that inspired them.
This year, I have taken a different approach when thinking about my CS hero as part of CS Ed Week’s annual theme. My CS hero is not just one person but a collective body of individuals who have significantly shaped my journey. Through their guidance, support, and shared passion for computer science, this coalition has genuinely impacted my life and aspirations.
Growing up in the St. Louis metropolitan area, I only had a few opportunities to learn about technology. My parents signed me up for a weekend engineering program, where my love for tech began to grow. Each session, I became more fascinated with technology and its power to bridge gaps and drive positive change. However, my undergrad experience at Jackson State University (JSU) is what truly shaped my path. At JSU, I found more than just a place to learn how to code. I discovered a community that inspired me to be the change I wanted to see in the world. It was an environment that instilled in me a sense of purpose and a calling to use technology as a catalyst for change, inclusivity, accessibility, and empowerment. This transition marked a turning point where my passion for technology merged with a solid commitment to positively impacting education and career..
My professors were more than just educators. They were architects of possibility. Each having their specialty helped me quickly determine my interests in tech. This collective group of individuals encouraged me to create new paths where none existed, and looking at my career, that is what I have done.
One of my biggest takeaways from my time at Jackson State was the lesson I learned in my Computers and Society class. Being technologically proficient is about more than just algorithms. It’s bigger than that. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels like they belong and have access to fundamental rights like a quality education and broadband internet access.
I’m incredibly grateful to the professors at Jackson State University who helped me hone my technical skills and shape my core values.