Hameed Abdul, a student at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jefferson Davis Campus, has been awarded The Generation Google Scholarship for 2017. Abdul, of Gulfport, is in the computer science program, but also takes classes at The University of Southern Mississippi.
He plans to use the $10,000 scholarship to help defray costs for his graduate work in Seoul, South Korea after he graduates from USM. His undergraduate education is already paid for through various scholarships and grants. In planning for his trip to Korea in either 2019 or 2020, Abdul has been attending a Korean church and immersing himself in the culture. He has also been working toward his black belt in Taekwondo, a Korean martial art.
“South Korea is a really where it is at right now, as far as technology,” he said. “And for me, the most important thing is that the market there is not overly saturated with competition like it is in China and Japan. I know there is a lot I can learn there that will prepare me to hopefully, someday, contribute to the computer science field.”
The Generation Google Scholarship was established to help aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. As part of the application process, students must list accomplishments and activities they have completed in their field of study.
Last summer, Abdul interned at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, working in the rocket propulsion area. His 10-week internship consisted of him reviewing the RPT Program office’s website and suggesting updates. During that same time, he taught Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes at USM, teaching technology-based courses to adult learners. Additionally, he has attended a variety of conferences this year including the Global Hack 6, LSU Global Game Jam, San Francisco Game Developers Conference & Expo, and Hackathon RSI 2017.
As a scholarship recipient, Abdul is invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat on June 18-21, at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. Retreat attendees will learn more about Google products, technologies and roles; get exposure to Google engineers; participate in a number of development workshops; and be exposed to professional development and community outreach opportunities that will continue to be offered after the retreat.
With both parents having taken classes at MGCCC, along with a cousin, Abdul said that it was natural for him to consider the college. “MGCCC embodies the ideology of positioning the student on a path to success by offering numerous resources and opportunities. It just has to be taken advantage of by the individual student,” he said. “Plus, I am able to save money while here and still have the quality instruction and resources that I would have at the university.”
He credits several MGCCC instructors with helping him along the way, including mathematics instructors Andrea Clark and Sandra Peterson, computer science instructor Darrell Wright and physics instructor Amanda Sharrow. “In addition, I would like to emphasize that one of my computer science instructors, Ms. Allison Mull, not only informed me about the Google Scholarship, but also thoroughly recommended me with a three-page letter of recommendation. She continues to take an interest in my future and pushes me toward excellence.”
About his instructors at MGCCC, he added, “The fact that they all cared, listened, and gave me value was tremendous. I am beyond thankful for being able to experience not only their classes but them as people. I wish to emulate their practices and morals in my life as well as share that with others.”