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Chris Jackson Computer Science Education Scholarship

1 winner$5,000
Next Application Deadline
Oct 15, 2024
Next Winners Announced
Nov 15, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners

Chris Jackson was an amazing human being who was smart, insightful and had a razor-sharp wit.

The greatest gift Chris had was that he always made the time to not just talk to you, but to be in that moment with you. He made you feel important because you had his full and undivided attention when you spoke to him, and he would always be the first to ask how he could help.

Chris was also an amazing father to his daughters Abby and Lily, a doting husband to his wife Karen, and a great friend to many people.

What most people don't know about Chris is how much he struggled to afford his degree in his early years. That degree ultimately helped him build a rewarding and impactful career in technology.

Sadly, Chris passed away in the fall of 2020. To honor his spirit and legacy, the Chris Jackson Computer Science Education Scholarship will support undergraduate students who are pursuing a computer science degree. The scholarship will be awarded twice a year.

Applicants will be required to discuss their interest in pursuing a computer science degree, their career aspirations, and why they think they should receive the award.

Selection Criteria:
Passion, Ambition, Story
Published April 12, 2024
Essay Topic
  1. How did you get interested in pursuing a computer science degree?
  2. What is your goal or dream job after receiving your degree?
  3. Why do you feel you are the best candidate for receiving this scholarship?
300–500 words

Winners and Finalists

November 2022

Winning Application

Huy Le
Texas A & M University-Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi, TX
Technology has been in my blood since I was a child when I explored many kinds of household electronics and I developed a passion for observing them. I took appliances apart and looked at their inner workings. Technology is the subject that I had the most confidence in during high school in Vietnam. The words of Zig Ziglar, "You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something" gave me significant motivation. My Technology teacher offered supportive encouragement that helped me interact with his lessons. I stayed at the top of the Technology class thanks to the enthusiastic way my teachers delivered the knowledge. I exceeded expectations in that class based on my curiosity and bravery. Enthusiasm and inspiration in Technology are vital and essential in my education path, especially for improving problem-solving for the most intricate issues in life. Technology stimulates my excitement and inspiration; in my head are all the questions about cutting-edge technology and harnessing it, as well as increasing its diversity and abundance. It was during my high school volunteer experience in which I assisted the elderly and the sick in the hospital that I came to this realization: I wanted to design programs to analyze symptoms and diagnose diseases so that doctors could perform accurate treatment, but at a lower price to be more accessible to the poor. My goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Medicine where my critical thinking skills can be utilized and developed. A Ph.D. degree would give me opportunities to research the intersection of technology and medicine. Therefore, I could give a hand to the hospitals with the fewest resources, because I believe that technology can be cost-saving and more efficient. A scholarship would help me pay for college so that I can learn more about the human body and technology. I feel that these subjects are highly related, because the basic functions of the human body are naturally intricate and delicate, just like technology. As a college student, I work towards these goals every day. I am tutoring my friends in Microbiology to reinforce my knowledge and improve my soft skills by effectively expressing complicated ideas by breaking them down into simpler ones. This has been a valuable experience that has helped enhance my problem-solving and team-work skills, which are crucial in the world of mathematicians, computer scientists, and nurses. I would like to apply all the amazing things from technology to biology efficiently and effectively such as designing a robot with AI technology to assist the elderly to carry out proper daily tasks in the Nursing Home. Having this scholarship will provide the opportunity for me to achieve my goals as a Nurse. A scholarship will give me the chance to access modern education and a good environment where I can build on my passion on my long road. I pride myself on my reputation for creating engaging and compelling content that I know our community would need.
Karisa Wieberg
Wayland Baptist UniversityLUBBOCK, TX
My interest in computer science was initially sparked by my military experience, where I was deeply involved in communications and system upgrade projects. This experience opened my eyes to the transformative power of technology and its potential to solve complex problems. After my service, as I embarked on my educational journey in business administration, I realized that a deeper understanding of cybersecurity - a crucial aspect of modern business - would significantly enhance my ability to contribute meaningfully in the tech-driven world. My current studies at Wayland Baptist University in Cybersecurity are a natural extension of this growing passion, blending my background in leadership and my fascination with the ever-evolving digital landscape. Upon completing my degree, my dream job is to work in a role where I can leverage my cybersecurity expertise to protect and secure digital information. My ideal position would allow me to blend my military-honed skills in strategy and leadership with my technical knowledge, possibly in a role that focuses on developing and implementing robust cybersecurity measures for a leading tech firm or a governmental agency. Above all, I aspire to a career that upholds a strong work-life balance, allowing me to excel professionally while being a present and engaged mother to my sons. I believe I embody the qualities that Chris Jackson exemplified: passion, ambition, and a compelling story. My journey from a military veteran to a cybersecurity student, while juggling the responsibilities of motherhood, reflects my deep-rooted passion for technology and my ambition to excel in this field. Like Chris, I understand the struggles of affording an education, and this scholarship would greatly assist in alleviating financial barriers, allowing me to focus fully on my studies. My commitment to not only achieving my educational goals but also to setting an example for my sons aligns with the spirit of the scholarship. I am determined to use this opportunity to build a career that honors Chris's legacy of impact in the technology sector and his dedication to family.
Nathan Hunt
University of HoustonRosharon, TX
Computers have always acted as the conduit for the intangible to become a reality. I became interested in the architecture upon which they were based around age sixteen. My interest sparked from a summer class that I took during the summer of 2017, on a whim. Learning about how computers were built, in both the physical and software sense, was mind-blowing; each part of the computer could be interchanged or upgraded. The mere fact that the physical hardware, software, visual components, and inputs could all be altered to mirror the mind of its creator or user opened innumerable possibilities to my mind. Since my initial discovery of computer science, I have constantly surrounded myself with resources and people dedicated to computer science and software engineering. Any chance I can make, I am reading up on new coding project ideas, developing future business models revolving around software, and thinking of new ways to incorporate safety measures and privacy protection into our ever-growing computer-reliant society. I hope to one day make mobile applications and desktop software safer to use, on a wide-spread scale, without the use of privacy-compromising features or intrusive data-gathering. After my degree completion in Computer Science and Business Administration, I will immediately begin working on my Master's degree. I hope to learn as much as I can while in my career until I feel that I have the resources necessary to build a company that specializes in cybersecurity. The software firm will develop and maintain online security solutions tailored either to specific issues or general security. The company will help to create new jobs within the growing STEM fields and will aid to close the deficit between the current workforce and those required to fill future career positions. In addition to the software firm, I will found and fund educational resources focused on sending free electronics, computer software, and books to underprivileged children (ages 10-18) within the United States. One belief that I hold dear is that the lack of education is the root of most of the world's hate, ignorance, crime, lack of resources, and greed that is seen today. Computer Science is a growing field and resources for those that are uneducated are not growing at the same rate. Those that seek to make a difference in the world must first understand the world itself. If they are not properly prepared with the adequate tools and educational resources necessary for them to flourish, those same people will become victims, not leaders. I know that I am the best candidate for the Chris Jackson scholarship as I have a goal that reflects Chris' character. I want those that feel that their situation defines them to have the resources to push themselves to the height that they desire. I believe Chris was a great listener because he cared for people. I wish for people to feel cared for so that they do not feel as though they have to walk alone on their path to change the world.
Danielle Okuseinde
Rice UniversityKATY, TX
Camilo Parets Dominguez
University of South Florida-Main CampusLakeland, FL
Alexzander Santos
Roger Williams UniversityWestport, MA
Some children dream of being a police officer or a firefighter when they grow up. When I was a child, all things "tech" appealed to me, and I knew at a young age that I would want to pursue a career in a technology field. At the time, I was unaware of annual salaries and responsibilities, but I knew early on that technology would play an important role in my life. I was a special needs student with autism, ADHD, and also required occupational, physical, and speech therapy routinely. I rode a special bus and was placed in learning disability classrooms. I was constantly bullied for wearing a scoliosis brace, apparent speech issues, and inability to perform at grade level. Through my own personal struggles, I have learned the importance of community, fellowship, connecting with and supporting others. Bullying goes beyond physical or emotional abuse - it takes place digitally every day and affects so many of us in our modern world. We are all at risk from cyber threats. and by choosing a career in Cybersecurity, allows me to help protect others against these crimes. My initial attraction to this career was driven by my love for technology, and though I want to create solutions to cyber threats, there is also a human element. We live in a connected world, and I want to play an important role in making it more secure for others. It is my hope to impact our world by becoming an "avenger" and taking a stand to fight against cyber-crime. In this field, there is a battle between good and evil, and I hope to make an impact on my community and make a difference by becoming a cybersecurity hero. I feel I am an excellent candidate for receiving this scholarship because I have fought tirelessly to achieve my goals and to feel valued by others. I have had many obstacles to overcome but I have been determined to prevail. I knew in my heart that I could achieve much more than what was anticipated. I refused to let my diagnosis define me. Due to my learning disabilities this was a major challenge, but I had a strong will to succeed and be accepted. My teachers offered extra help during after school hours and I took the opportunity whenever possible. I spent many hours studying my curriculums outside of the classroom in order to improve my grades. By the time I reached my high school years I began to reap the benefits of my work ethic. With diligence, determination, and proper study habits I was able to excel in honors classes and achieve exceptional grades. The road to success is not easy, it takes perseverance, hard work, commitment and most importantly believing in yourself. I want to continue to not only prove to others, but more importantly myself, that I am so much more than my disabilities. Today I stand, proud and optimistic, ready for the next chapter of my story.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Oct 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Nov 15, 2024.