Scholarship program recognizes computer science students from underserved communities
Amazon Future Engineer Awards first university sholarships to Canadian students
Amazon announced the first recipients of the Amazon Future Engineer Canada university scholarship program. Ten graduating high school students from across the country will each receive $30,000 to help cover university tuition over four years. They will also have the opportunity to complete a paid summer internship at one of Amazon’s Canadian Tech Hubs.
The Amazon Future Engineer scholarship program recognizes graduating high school students from underserved and underrepresented communities who have demonstrated financial need, exceptional academic performance and leadership in school, work and community activities. To qualify, candidates must plan to study computer science or a related field at an accredited Canadian university.
“At Amazon, we are committed to helping more children and young adults, especially those from underserved and underrepresented communities,” said Susan Ibach, Head of Amazon Future Engineer Canada. “Fostering diversity in the Canadian tech sector starts with ensuring that students from all backgrounds are able to discover computer science and pursue postsecondary education, focusing on their studies instead of financial concerns. This inaugural Canadian Amazon Future Engineer scholarship class has demonstrated a broad range of academic and extracurricular achievements. Amazon is thrilled to support them during this next chapter of their education.”
For scholarship winner Melvin Teo from Vancouver, BC, growing up in a low-income household served as motivation to seize every available learning opportunity. Determined to make a positive difference in his community, Melvin served as President of the Kensington Community Centre Youth Council. He spearheaded the Kensington Neighbourhood Recycling Bottle Drive initiative, which processed more than 8,000 recyclable bottles despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the classroom, Melvin nurtured a passion for computer science. “After discovering the possibilities related to creating something from nothing with code, I hope to make a difference by creating opportunities for others to explore and develop a passion for technology,” he said.
As the first woman in her family to study computer science and engineering, Yusra Saifuddin from Toronto, ON is passionate about engaging underrepresented communities in STEM. She volunteered as a Youth Facilitator with the local non-profit Visions of Science Network for Learning, preparing and delivering weekly STEM modules to young people and refugees living in marginalized communities. At school, she excelled in a highly enriched math and science program, which helped her recognize the potential to take her talent for computer science to the next level. “I am very proud to represent my community and continue to give back by inspiring and empowering the next generation of students from underrepresented communities. The Amazon Future Engineer scholarship will truly make a difference in furthering my education and will allow me to achieve my goals,” she said.
The list of Amazon Future Engineer Canada scholarship winners in 2021 includes:
- Praise Erianamie (Etobicoke, ON), enrolled in the TrackOne program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
- Shivam Jindal (Mississauga, ON), studying Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo
- Mulei Mao (Scarborough, ON) studying Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo
- Sophia Nguyen (Toronto, ON), studying Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo
- Youssef Rachad (Barrie, ON), studying Engineering Science at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
- Joonhan Ryo (Moncton, NB) studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
- Yusra Saifuddin (Toronto, ON), studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
- Melvin Teo (Vancouver, BC), studying Computer Science at the University of British Columbia
Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive program designed to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue computer science. As part of Amazon’s commitment to strengthening the communities it is proud to call home, the company is investing $3 million (CAD) over three years to fund unique computer science learning opportunities for an anticipated 1 million students and teachers across the country. The program works in close collaboration with partners Canada Learning Code, FIRST Robotics Canada, Kids Code Jeunesse, and TakingITGlobal.
In addition to its scholarship and internship program, Amazon Future Engineer gives elementary, middle, and high school students from diverse communities around the globe access to computer science educational opportunities where they can explore project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems.
Schools, administrators, and teachers interested in participating in Amazon Future Engineer can learn more by visiting AmazonFutureEngineer.ca.