Scholar Spotlight

Jerry Olin College of Engineering, Class of 2022

How has your Summer Academy experience been so far?

This is my second Summer Academy and it’s something that I’m passionate about. I personally don’t think I would have made it through my senior year of high school with the grades I finished with if I hadn’t attended the Summer Academy in 2017. It really filled the unnoticed gaps I had in mathematics and English and now I’m taking Calculus (after having completed AP Calculus AB) and Computer Science. This year is exponentially more difficult, especially the time commitment. Computer Science was foreign to me which requires me to put more hours into it, and even though Calculus is easy for me, the combination of the two classes is surprisingly stressful to manage. I’ve never taken college level classes, nor have I ever taken Computer Science, but that experience is something new for me that may not be new to some other students. I think it’s great to have that kind of shocking change in classroom setting prior to getting into college because this program allows me to establish myself in a college classroom prior to being in my college.

When did you become interested in Computer Science?

I went to a high school geared towards engineering and medicine, and I took the route of engineering. I’ve been involved with robotics throughout all of high school and surrounded by peers who had familiarity with programming and computer science. But I never had that in my repertoire and never acquired it, primarily due to my lack of a computer and the existence of other time commitments. I tried to join Computer Science Club in freshman year, but without any prerequisite knowledge, I couldn’t keep up with the activities. It’s kind of remained a skill that many of peers had, but I didn’t.

It’s an ever-expanding field especially in this technological era and I’ve always had a fascination with electronic devices and the way in which they process and display information for our eyes and brains to interpret.

How do you think this will help you as you enter college?

I very often hear that students struggle with computer science in college because it is knowledge that is infrequently provided to youth. Now that the world is advancing, some elementary schools are incorporating computer science into their standard curriculum and other schools offer opportunities to learn about the field, but not everyone has access to excel or participate in those activities.

I’ve even heard that people struggle with computer science at my college of choice, Olin College of Engineering, and this exposure will help me hit the ground running while in college. Hopefully this will be like how I easily transitioned into Calculus in my senior year of high school and getting A’s in both semesters despite having been a B- student in my previous math classes.

Also, the professional exposure is something new I’ve experienced in Summer Academy. I haven’t gotten this level of exposure and such opportunities to network from anywhere else. These opportunities weren’t offered or advertised in any of my other scholarships or programs, and if they were, they didn’t excel in the manner that I believe SCS Noonan is excelling. I really value the work that the SCS Noonan team does and have confidence in my future success because of their efforts.