Scholar: Antony Jepson
Hello, I am Antony Jepson, a junior computer engineering major from London, England. As a high school graduate, I received the Life-Gets-Better Scholarship to pursue a degree in computer engineering.
The progression from high school to college is simply one part of a lifelong journey that many undergo. Some make great strides in this part of their lives while others complete it at a normal pace. The decisions and goals that are set in this stage of one's voyage have resounding effects on one's later life. This is my story.
There were not many AP courses offered by my high school so I strove to take as many as I could. In these courses, I met many motivated students like myself that wanted to succeed in life and careers. The caliber of these AP courses and the students within these classes re-enforced a mindset that I have cherished since childhood: work hard, do well. I applied this mentality to my SAT preparation – I purchased and studied numerous review materials, practiced using additional more difficult vocabulary, and took practice test over practice test over practice test. Eventually, my efforts paid off and I was selected as the STAR student for my high school – the person with the highest SAT score in the county. With this score, I became a National Achievement Semifinalist and Florida A&M University (FAMU) recognized this accomplishment by offering a full scholarship to me.
I applied to many universities. My top choices were: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. I was admitted into Georgia Tech, Barry University, Tulane University, University of Georgia, Georgia Southern, and Florida A&M University. Of these schools, Florida A&M University was one of the few to offer me a scholarship. I selected colleges based upon their programs, scholarships, and their alignment with my career goals. I chose Florida A&M University based on two reasons: (1) they offered me a full 4-year scholarship and (2) the engineering school was very reputable and offered a bachelor's in computer engineering (the scholarship was primarily geared toward STEM majors).
The transition from high school to college was a very rewarding experience. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the wide variety of quality opportunities available to me. There were research opportunities, clubs, and several different professors to choose from for my freshman courses. I was delighted by the flexibility offered by FAMU and immediately became a part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Learning Community. Here, I met students from many different majors and several within my own. I also connected with the mentors and established friendships that will last a lifetime.
Being a student at Florida A&M University has been a fulfilling experience. I have met people with a variety of cultural backgrounds and associated with many incredible professors. I work as a system manager for the Astrophysics Research lab. In this position, I am able to work with many people that share my enthusiasm for high performance computing; a section of computer engineering that is becoming a critical part of today's technological world. Furthermore, I have worked as a quality assurance engineer for Apple's Applications Team, during the summer of 2010. As an intern I met leading executives in the Silicon Valley area. I was able to secure this internship through FAMU Career Placement Center.
Receiving a full scholarship for one's bachelor's degree is not a trivial task so I greatly value my scholarship. Furthermore, being a part of the Life Gets Better Scholars enables me to meet people from around the globe that are just as motivated as I. I am thankful for my scholarship and I hope t