For DonorsFor Applicants

Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Lyndsey Scott
$20,000
1st winner$5,000
2nd winner$3,000
3rd winner$2,000
4th winner$1,000
Awarded
Application Deadline
Jan 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Feb 15, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
1
Contribution
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Major:
Computer science
Education Level:
High school senior & Undergraduate
Identification:
LGBTQIA+, Women, and/or BIPOC


The computer science field is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries, but there’s a stark lack of diversity when it comes to both people and ideas.

The Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship will support the next generation of multi-faceted computer scientists, with a special focus on coders, by providing financial assistance for their degree. The goal is to uplift a diverse group of students who want to combine computer science with their other passions to pave a unique path towards enriching our world and its technology.

LGBTQIA+, Women, and/or BIPOC students who are majoring in computer science and are also pursuing other interests may apply. To apply, write about your computer science goals, your non-computer science goals, and how you might combine these goals in the future.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Bold.org Profile
Published August 15, 2023
Essay Topic

Tell us about your computer science goals, non-computer science goals, and how you might combine these goals in the future.

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

February 2024

Winners
Riya Tyagi1st PLACE
Eden Wilson2nd PLACE
Brynali Marshall 3rd PLACE
Aaron Shields4th PLACE
Karisa Wieberg5th PLACE
Elizabeth Otuyelu6th PLACE
Mallika Sheth7th PLACE
Isabel Epistelomogi8th PLACE
Rachna Gupta9th PLACE
Temiloluwa Adesola10th PLACE
Joseph Hardy11th PLACE
Sia Sama12th PLACE
Aireus Robinson13th PLACE
Finalists
Jasmita Yechuri
Chandler Brown
Marisol Moreno
Natalie Zdroykowski
Solomon Smith
Brayden Cook
Adam Traore
Dahlya Pryor
Tyson Sonnier
Audrey Stankunas
Julian Alamo-Rosas
esther sagara
Suhani Tiwari
Lennox Scholl
Onyinyechi Colette Charles-Azike
Rana Dubauskas
Olamiposi Ogunbiyi
Christina Huynh
Siya Choudhary
Arisa Chue
Alyanna McGrath
Hannah Gatewood
Jason Johnson
Tristan Figueroa-Reid
Dianna Dimambro Dimambro
Autumn Fischer
Jaden Wood
Bair McGregor
Wonder Akpabio
AbdulMalik Shodunke
Ameeruddin Shaik
Emiko Jones
Daniel Bekele
Kylie Casey
Jazmin Camacho
Nailah Abdulbarr
Melina Eftekhari
Genesis Cruz
Kailah Garrett

June 2023

Finalists
Sia Sama
Aklile Tesfaye
Rachel Lewis
Mia McElhatton
Emilia Borovic
Emma-Abigail Gachagua
Amelia Henzel
Tasnim Chowdhury
Kimani Dyer
Qadira Moore
Evin Wells
Shreya Chakraborty
Trisha Nittala
Isabel Epistelomogi
Chahana Dahal
Udoka Chimah
Vani Ramesh
Samantha Brown
Gracie Brockie
Seher Taneja

Winning Applications

Riya Tyagi
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyEXETER, NH
In ninth grade, I viewed AI as a panacea—capable of improving public health, revolutionizing robotics, and monitoring the planet. That summer, I gained hands-on experience programming AI at the Stanford AI4ALL program, where I developed logistic regression models to map human population density with remote sensing data. After the program, I cold-emailed two Penn State University professors, with whom I worked on a project using machine learning to detect Parkinson’s disease from handwriting samples. I first-authored a scientific paper and open-sourced the model. NVIDIA Health featured the research on their blog and social media. My AI experience led me to receive a paid AI research position at Massachusetts General Hospital in tenth grade. During my first lab meeting, I discovered a startling truth: AI could predict a patient’s race from their medical images when human experts could not. Disturbed, I scoured published papers for an explanation, but researchers had yet to find one. Determined to confront this challenge, I began a research investigation. Over 18 months, I trained hundreds of Convolutional Neural Networks, identified image features enabling AI to learn self-reported race, and first-authored a scientific paper. I presented my findings at a Mass General symposium—placing first in the high school division—and later at ARVO, an international conference. I also won first place at the New Hampshire Science and Engineering Exposition. I expanded on my work as a Simons Research Fellow, generating synthetic medical images to augment minority classes in datasets, helping mitigate algorithmic bias. I’ve learned that AI is neither a panacea nor a curse, rather a tool that we must design and use responsibly. Personally, I am committed to developing sustainable AI. My interest in environmental science was first sparked through Science Olympiad, which led me to an internship with NASA’s Earth Science team. Here, I coupled AI with Landcover and LANDSAT data to examine the way residential land responds to rising temperatures. Outside of research, I am the Head of Programming for Exeter Varsity Robotics. This year, I developed a custom library enabling our robot to travel along Bezier curves, improving our robot’s autonomous abilities. Further, as the co-head of Exeter Computing Club, I led a team to develop technology solutions for campus, including a course planning tool. I also achieved USACO Gold and hosted hackathons. These experiences have empowered me as a computer scientist. Now, equipped with a deeper understanding, I look forward to pursuing a P.h.D in computer science and artificial intelligence, with a focus on ethics and sustainability. In my career, I hope to develop socially conscious AI to serve environmental organizations, helping clean up oceans, track endangered animals, and monitor climate. I also aspire to share data, insights, and experiences as a public-facing scientist—a science influencer—who uses her platform to advocate for computer science and climate education. Long term, I plan to become a professor, using my hands-on experience to mentor students as we innovate ethical computational solutions to secure the future of our only planet.
Eden Wilson
Spelman CollegeChicago, IL
I still remember how beautifully my student read “Kim Is Sick” during our first tutoring session after summer break. This session marked the start of our fourth year of working together. When he finished reading, I pushed the tears that managed to escape my eyes back up with my cheeks as I smiled. He was reading. My student has a learning disability. At first, he was reluctant to learn to read, but he has gained confidence, and our shared experience helped me discover my mission - to create special education technology. Equity for students of all backgrounds, with and without learning disabilities, is my passion - computer science is my path. My computer-science-oriented goal is to make sure all students have the tools and inspiration they need to succeed. I started my YouTube channel, Lemonerdy, in 2018, making videos about things I loved. In 2020, I started making coding tutorials to share my love of computer science. Soon, I started receiving messages from girls around the world, inspired by a girl who looked like them teaching them to code. In 2021, I created a 26-video coding course with DIY.org, which is free and available internationally. My tutorials earned hundreds of thousands of views, and I realized I wasn’t the only girl craving diversity in tech. In response, I started Lemonerdy University, an award-winning peer-to-peer STEM education platform where kids of all backgrounds have the opportunity to learn from teachers who look like them and become teachers themselves. On my YouTube Channel and at Lemonerdy U, my goal is to continue to inspire young coders. Outside of computer science, my objective is to empower students with learning disabilities. Around the time I started making coding tutorials, I began tutoring my student. I coded custom games for him based on his learning style, helping him go from knowing a little bit of the alphabet to reading and writing full sentences at a 2nd-grade level. Working with him helped me discover my passion for not only empowering students of diverse backgrounds but also of diverse learning styles. Today, my favorite part of each day is working as a Special Education Classroom Assistant as part of my senior experience. Before I go to classes at my school, I spend three hours working with diverse learners in K-5 classrooms. I have introduced sign language to the classroom and created lesson plans and materials to assist my verbal and non-verbal students in reaching their IEP goals. In the future, I will research innovative methods to teach children with disabilities and earn my doctorate. I plan to create my own EdTech company that uses AI and machine learning to evaluate students with learning disabilities and create programs that best fit their learning styles. My student was so much more motivated and inspired when he had learning games made just for him. My Edtech company will revolutionize special education classroom dynamics by providing students the individualized attention they need and giving teachers tools to cater to the various learning styles in the classroom. I have big dreams, but my first step is to pursue my bachelor's degree in Computer Science at Spelman College. At Spelman, I will continue to teach kids computer science and create individualized tech for students with learning disabilities. Diversity is central to each of my goals and the impacts I want to make. While individually, my passion for computer science and special education changes lives, together, they can change the world.
Brynali Marshall
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical CollegeBaton Rouge, LA
In modern science, breakthroughs often occur at the intersection of multiple disciplines. My passion for data science stems from its potential to revolutionize industries. I’ve seen firsthand how this field can lead innovation in neuroscience, an intersection that resonates deeply with me. As the oldest of eleven siblings and the first in my family to pursue higher education, my journey embodies the transformative power of perseverance and determination. Growing up, I witnessed the significance of education and its potential to break generational barriers. My father never completed middle school and my mom dropped out of high school to raise me alone. I am now the oldest of 11 siblings and hope to be an inspiration to my younger siblings. This conviction fueled my aspiration to pursue a career in neural data science and become a catalyst for change within my family and community. Preparing for college as a first-generation student required proactive steps and resilience. I sought mentorship to navigate the complexities of the college application process and life beyond acceptance. Many of my advisors suggested that I pursue my master’s in an adjacent field to allow me to explore a niche within the increasingly broad field of data science. I have always had a passion for neuroscience and originally went into university as a pre-med major. Being exposed to the intersection of healthcare and technology has ignited a fervor within me to pursue the Erasmus Mundus Brain and Data Science master's program that combines my two passions and allows me to innovate in this groundbreaking new field. This program is part of a unique curriculum that will take place in 4 universities across the world to allow students to get a holistic view of this budding field. I love to travel and have had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad on scholarship twice in my undergrad. Studying abroad in the UAE and Morocco has expanded my horizons, offering me a global perspective on the importance of education and the role it plays in shaping societies. It has allowed me to further immerse myself in discussions surrounding sustainability, technology, and neuroscience. This has served to reinforce my commitment to contributing meaningfully to these critical conversations. My education in the UAE has availed me to opportunities in computer science that weren’t available in the United States. However, the financial challenges of funding my education and life abroad, compounded by my family's circumstances, remain a hurdle. I am passionate about following my dreams and breaking ground in this new field. I hope to advance neuroscience technology by using AI to create better maps of the human brain and creating expert systems to aid doctors in their diagnoses of neurological issues.
Aaron Shields
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
At the age of 8 years old, my father began having me assist him at various community service events. Times were rough for my family, as he transitioned from the military to civilian life and struggled to get a job. However, I found that he would open up at these events, and we were able to bond while we served others. Despite the challenges my family was facing, the joy reflected on the faces of the persons we assisted was a source of fulfillment for me. From then on, I wholeheartedly devoted myself to community service efforts. In high school, I expanded my service efforts, offering free tutoring services to low-income students, distributing meals at food banks, and cleaning up neighborhoods in my hometown of Northeast Washington D.C. I had always been intrigued by STEM classes in school, but an Intro to Computer Science course jump-started my love for coding and computer science. I loved the complexity and versatility of the field as I was able to create a tic-tac-toe game one day and develop advanced programs to combat poverty the next. I applied to the University of Southern California because of its world-class computer science program and its proximity to downtown Los Angeles/Skid Row. Los Angeles has 1.4 million impoverished persons and an additional 66,000 homeless persons. USC empowered me by providing not only a world-class education but the opportunity to make a significant impact on the housing crisis in Los Angeles. Upon being accepted into USC, I joined engineering organizations that had the resources to make a positive impact in Los Angeles. I became a senator for the National Society of Black Engineers and focused on establishing a tutoring program for low-income students living in the South-Central neighborhood. I also joined the NASA SUITS program and worked with NASA to create spacesuits for future exploration of Mars. I was fortunate to host community events through the program; we went to elementary schools and taught students about our program and NASA's impact on American history. Additionally, I used the computer science skills I acquired to develop and implement an application that surveyed homeless persons during the Los Angeles Homeless Count. This program was used by USC and the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) to create a comprehensive report on the state of the homeless population. This report was subsequently utilized by the Los Angeles County government to determine the allocation of resources to homeless populations and was cited by the Los Angeles Times in articles observing the state of homelessness in Los Angeles County. After working with various organizations to combat homelessness and poverty, I decided to use my background in computer science to work toward more permanent, long-term solutions. I am currently working with professors in the computer science, economics, and social work departments to create urban planning and poverty-combatting artificial intelligence programs. Through these programs as well as future pursuits, I endeavor to dedicate my education and career in technology to helping the underprivileged and marginalized communities of Los Angeles. Eventually, I hope my work can make a positive impact on communities everywhere.
Karisa Wieberg
Wayland Baptist UniversityLUBBOCK, TX
My name is Karisa Wieberg, a dedicated cybersecurity student at Wayland Baptist University and a proud Navy veteran. At 33, my journey has been one of diverse experiences, from serving in the military to embracing the challenges of motherhood. These experiences have shaped my ambitions, blending a deep interest in computer science with a commitment to community service and leadership. As a woman in a field traditionally dominated by men, my path represents not just personal growth but also a stride toward diversifying the world of technology. In the ever-evolving domain of cybersecurity, my goal is to become a vanguard in digital security, focusing on safeguarding information systems. My time in the Navy instilled in me a nuanced understanding of strategic defense, an insight I now aim to apply to the cyber realm. I am particularly interested in developing robust cybersecurity protocols for public and private sectors, ensuring the safety and integrity of digital infrastructures. I aspire to be at the forefront of combating cyber threats and contributing to the advancement of digital security technologies. Beyond the realm of technology, my ambitions are rooted in community enrichment and empowerment. Drawing from my experiences as a veteran and a mother, I am driven to make a positive impact in my community. This includes mentoring young individuals, especially girls and women in STEM, to help broaden their horizons and break gender stereotypes in technology fields. I am also passionate about volunteering and participating in initiatives that aim to uplift and support underrepresented groups, fostering a culture of inclusivity and resilience. My vision for the future is an amalgamation of my technical acumen and my passion for community development. I see myself leveraging my cybersecurity expertise in roles that extend beyond traditional tech jobs - roles that intersect with community engagement and education. For instance, I could spearhead community workshops on internet safety, helping individuals understand and navigate the complexities of the digital world. Additionally, by mentoring aspiring students in STEM, I can contribute to a more diverse and dynamic technological landscape, paving the way for innovative solutions born from varied perspectives and experiences. Ultimately, my goal is to embody the ethos of the Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship by using my skills in computer science to enrich not just the field itself but also the lives of those around me. Thank you for considering my application for the Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to potentially be a part of this inspiring initiative that celebrates diversity and innovation in the field of computer science.
Elizabeth Otuyelu
Eleanor Roosevelt High SchoolBOWIE, MD
In the depths of underwater coding, where technology meets the sea's mysteries, I've discovered my passion: addressing the challenges of sustainable deep-sea mining. Some deep-sea minerals are crucial for the development of green technologies, such as batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. By focusing on sustainable practices in deep-sea mining, I can help in supporting the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future. My role as Budget Manager in the robotics club taught me the art of resource allocation, sparking my enthusiasm to use those skills in environment conservation. I wanted to ensure that every dollar was optimally utilized to meet our objectives. In a robot, each joule is carefully planned for. I’d love to test these concepts with Professor Albert Esterline, whose paper I read about their RIG algorithms on resource allocation is intriguing; their algorithms, balancing data collection and budgets, mirror real-world challenges. I would test how Professor Esterline’s RIG algorithms perform, particularly in simulated underwater environments. A cutting-edge facility is the playground for my imagination, inspiring me to map real objects underwater in virtual simulations for precise mining tools. Taking courses like “Data Structures and Object Oriented Design” and “Discrete Methods in Computer Science” will teach me to break down computational challenges into smaller parts, allowing me to create efficient solutions in real-time, and allowing the smooth operation of precise mining tools. This intersection of theoretical understanding and practical application propels me toward a future where I can play a pivotal role in revolutionizing how we approach underwater exploration and resource extraction. As the founder of Tech Explorers, a club built on technological innovation, my passion for diving into underwater simulations stems from a curiosity about our planet's unexplored realms. We've been exploring innovative ways to understand aquatic environments. The deep sea is home to a diverse range of species, many of which are not found anywhere else on Earth. Sustainable deep-sea mining aims to balance resource extraction with biodiversity conservation. By developing technologies and practices that minimize the impact on marine life and ecosystems, I plan to contribute to the preservation of these unique and often vulnerable species. I’m excited to build on this by utilizing predictive algorithms to monitor underwater resources and collaborate on projects similar to the Ocean Health Index initiative, implementing data-driven solutions for sustainable aquatic environments. How can coding techniques anticipate environmental threats instantly? With the answer, I plan to engineer sophisticated software solutions, integrating data analysis and machine learning, to create highly responsive environmental monitoring tools. My journey in sustainable deep-sea mining, fueled by my roles in the robotics club and as the founder of Tech Explorers, drives my passion for innovative technology in environmental conservation. I am not just driven by a desire for change but propelled by a sense of responsibility to do more. Our environment, besieged by human activities, requires proactive and transformative measures. It is not enough to merely recycle or advocate for sustainable practices; a more profound intervention is necessary. This journey is not without its struggles, but it is precisely within these challenges that the opportunity for meaningful change arises. By combining my skills in underwater coding with a commitment to sustainability, I plan on contributing to a more responsible and ethical approach to harnessing the vast resources lying beneath the ocean's depths. Through many resources, I'm dedicated to engineering advanced solutions, aspiring to make a meaningful global impact. I wish to confront the struggles of environmental preservation head-on, armed with innovation, commitment, and a collective vision for a thriving future.
Mallika Sheth
Stanford UniversityBELLEVUE, WA
As a child of a deaf adult (CODA), I have served as a bridge between my oral deaf father and the hearing world. I developed unique communication methods, speaking slowly, enunciating my words to ensure clarity, and using basic sign language for the words he couldn't catch. This personal journey in dealing with my father’s struggles with communicating in a hearing world has sparked an interest towards harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to serve the sight and sound disabled in innovative ways. Watching my father talk to someone on his smartphone using AI-powered live captioning reminded me of the transformative power of technology to bridge communication gaps and enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. It motivates me to pursue a holistic education that marries the analytical rigor of computer science with the ethical and sociocultural awareness offered by a liberal arts perspective; it would provide a robust foundation for optimizing AI to serve the disabled in far more creative ways. An education in computer science would equip me with the technical skills necessary to develop cutting-edge AI systems; computer science is the foundation that enables the design and implementation of AI algorithms and architectures; it is pivotal in creating AI solutions that are efficient, effective, and capable of addressing complex societal challenges. For instance, through the data science and mathematics components of computer science, I would learn to enhance the field of speech recognition and translation, facilitating more accurate and accessible communication for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. These advancements would not only benefit my father but also millions of individuals worldwide who face similar challenges. While computer science imparts the technical know-how, liberal arts education fosters critical thinking, ethics, and a broad understanding of the human experience. It teaches us to question the implications of AI and consider the broader social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of its applications. Through the study of philosophy, psychology, sociology, political science, and ethics, I would gain insight into how AI impacts people and society at large. It would prompt me to address questions of privacy, bias, accountability, and the distribution of AI benefits and burdens. Arts and humanities provide a nuanced perspective on the aesthetic, emotional, and cultural aspects of AI applications, contributing to the development of AI systems that are not only functional but also emotionally intelligent and culturally sensitive. My commitment to the betterment of the disabled through computer science and AI optimization would involve working closely with experts from various fields. Engineers and computer scientists would focus on the technical aspects of AI, while humanities scholars and advocates for the disabled would contribute their insights on ethical, cultural, and societal considerations. This collaborative approach ensures that AI development is both technically robust and effective, ultimately resulting in AI systems that benefit the disabled in profound and creative ways. My dedication to improving the lives of the disabled through computer science stemming from my personal experience as a child of a deaf father, fuels my passion to optimize technology for the benefit of all. An education that combines liberal arts and computer science is the ideal vehicle for achieving this goal. Through this intersection, I aspire to create AI solutions that not only address the communication challenges faced by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities but also promote inclusivity, equity, and societal well-being on a global scale.
Isabel Epistelomogi
University of Southern CaliforniaWaukesha, WI
Rachna Gupta
Harvard CollegeHOFFMAN EST, IL
Temiloluwa Adesola
Jackson State UniversityJACKSON, MS
Joseph Hardy
SC Governor's School For Science And MathematicsIrmo, SC
My computer science goals are the same as they have been since the first time I set out to try coding in my elementary school computer lab: always keep learning and always keep making. At the start, I played with simple block-based code, making small games for me and my friends to play. As my knowledge deepened and I started to learn real programming languages, these two goals have led me to seek challenges I had never thought I could complete before. My goals guided me to attend a STEM-focussed magnet school, participate in a six-week summer computer programming internship at my local university, publish programming projects online, build community with other developers, and pursue a career in software development. I want to continue improving my skills as a programmer as much as I can, not only to prepare for my career but also because I thoroughly enjoy it. Coding is like breathing to me. It is constant, necessary, effortless and automatic. Art, on the other hand, is my nourishment. I need it just as much to survive. Music, visual arts, poetry, and storytelling are my preferred media. My goals for these involve progressing my technical ability and finding my own style, which I am accomplishing through regular practice and experimentation. In the short-term, I am working on a blended-genre album called "I Am Not Alone" that is about growing up as a neurodivergent queer person. Art has been a way to process my emotions, and I want to share these thoughts with the world. The perfect intersection among these varied interests is where my true passion lies: game design and development. Videogames as a medium incorporate all of my passions, both within and outside of software engineering. Because of this, my computer science and non-computer science goals are inherently intertwined, and I cannot have one without the other. My main goal in life, a perfect combination of computer science and the arts, is to have my own independent game development studio. I want to tell my own stories, build my own communities, and share with the world my own creations. Initially, my plan was to work for a large video game corporation, but I learned that game design was a very intimate process to me; I would never be satisfied making games that prioritized profits and sold products, not art. However, I will have to work for these large corporations to gain experience and earn money to supplement my creative endeavors until my game development career can take flight on its own. Reading Lyndsey Scott's mission statement on her Bold.org account when viewing this scholarship, I felt a sense of relief. The path I am taking to reach my goals is different from most, and seeing someone else do something similar and be successful has filled me with confidence. If given this scholarship opportunity, I would use it to one of two things. If it is feasible, I would use it to go to an out-of-state university that offers a degree in Computational Media, which would encapsulate exactly the education I need to be successful in video game development. Otherwise, I would stay in-state and use the scholarship money to graduate debt-free, allowing me to follow my creative pursuits sooner. My game design journal is filled to the brim and ready to turn into something for the world to see, with around a dozen outlines with concepts of gameplay, story, art, and music. Some of these may never see the light of day, but I will continue working so that I can make these dreams come true.
Sia Sama
University of California-BerkeleyElk Grove, CA
I am a motivated student, a dedicated athlete, and an active member of my community. I have always strived to connect my many interests, and as a woman who plans to major in computer science, a male-dominated field, I have cracked the code on how to do just that. Throughout high school, I found myself allocating time to different activities regarding my interests in education, running, and community service among others. As I split up my time among these extracurriculars, I gradually learned that I can utilize code to further my interest in competing athletically, and I can help my community by volunteering to inspire young students to explore the growing field of computer science. My journey of connecting my interests began when I wrote a simple code that allowed runners to input their miles times and receive their skill levels outputted to them. While the time ranges for “Great Mile Time!” and “Needs Improvement” were so biased that I used the code solely for my enjoyment, it opened up so many doors for me. I quickly realized that the growth of technology enables me to utilize it positively by connecting it to seemingly unrelated subjects, such as running. I then took a step back and evaluated each of my passions, attempting to find new opportunities and creating them when I could not. Because of this, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to join my high school’s computer science leadership team, designed in part to encourage young girls to explore the field of computer science. I now dedicate my time to planning and hosting activities and events that introduce this field to many young students to spark their interest and broaden their search as they enter high school and even middle school. This work in my community allows me to do my part in working to close the large gender gap in this field. My role as outreach manager and co-president of my high school’s team enables me to serve my community while further exploring my major. My competitive drive creeps up in all aspects of my life and can be seen in an academic sense. In my Advanced Placement Computer Science class, I was one of the two girls in a twenty-eight-person class and found myself competing for a voice and a chance for my knowledge of the subject to be acknowledged. Presented with the opportunity to earn extra credit points by writing a code that could produce a calendar for any given year, I took it as an opportunity to establish my credibility in the class. Handed back my code with a loud exclamation on how impressive my work was by my teacher, the boys in my class soon recognized my abilities and valued my contribution. My competitiveness helped me not only earn extra credit points and make my place in the classroom but pushed me to learn more skills in computer science. While writing the code to produce a calendar, I was pushed to problem-solve and learn new coding skills within coding languages. My educational goal of earning a degree in computer science entails attending a four-year university in California. As I work towards earning a degree in Computer Science, I plan on pursuing my passion for racing competitively. Both of these goals require perseverance and dedication, and I plan on strengthening these skills through my role as a student and athlete. My competitive drive pushes me to channel my energy into a positive one that allows me to learn and grow as an individual, an athlete, and a future computer scientist.
Aireus Robinson
Georgia State University-Perimeter CollegeDecatur, GA
Narratives, and Sensory Experiences: Bridging Divides Through Multiplatform Storytelling The world is full of complex narratives, each fraught with challenges and opportunities. As a Queer African-American male who grew up in a predominately white household, I've navigated multiple intersections of identity, privilege, and struggle. My goal? To use this complex tapestry as a foundation for positive change. I am majoring in Computer Science and Journalism, a fusion that represents my mission: leveraging technology to amplify marginalized voices and bridge societal divides. I'm eager to attend NYU to study Interactive Media and Writing, and the Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship offers financial support and an affirmation of my multifaceted goals. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the tech industry was the backdrop against which I formed my understanding of the world. Through this, I saw its effects on surrounding communities—the societal divides that technological advancements can exacerbate. Marginalized communities, particularly impoverished and/or BIPOC, often find themselves on the losing end of this technological revolution. My ambition in computer science is specific: I want to democratize and disseminate access to AI tools for traditionally sidelined communities. By doing this, I aim to level the playing field, ensuring that advancements in AI serve as a bridge, not a barrier, between communities. Journalism: The Voice of the Voiceless My passion for journalism stems from its core tenet: storytelling. Narratives have the power to change perceptions, inspire, and, most importantly, to humanize. While computer science provides the toolset, journalism offers the content—stories of marginalized communities that need to be heard. My goal is to establish a Multimedia Publishing company focused on utilizing emerging technologies to tell stories and deliver art in new, innovative ways. A Symphony of Experiences Outside the binaries of code and text, I find another passion: the hospitality industry. As a Mixologist, Beverage Experience Manager, and specialty coffee Barista undergoing Q-Grader training, I founded ‘SpaceBar,’ a venture to elevate experiences and build community. Through activities like the Aroma Kit Experience, we tap into olfactory senses to evoke memories, emotions, and facilitate cultural exchange. It’s not just about the drink; it’s about the story the ingredients tell, the community it builds, and the divides it bridges. Converging Pathways The real magic happens when these paths converge. Imagine an interactive multimedia exhibit powered by AI algorithms that tells a story and allows you to smell, taste, and feel the narrative. Or consider a ‘SpaceBar’ experience guided by an AI, customized to each individual’s emotional and cultural background. The possibilities are endless, and the impact—profound. At NYU, I aim to further explore these intersections between Interactive Media and Writing, all while using this rich tapestry to serve my community and contribute to a more inclusive world. A Step Closer to the Dream While my ambitions are sky-high, my financial realities are grounded. Coming from an impoverished background, this scholarship is not just a financial relief; it’s a key that can unlock countless doors for me and the communities I aim to serve. In Conclusion My journey is not just about coding, writing, or mixing the perfect drink. It’s about the intersections—my identity, technology and storytelling, olfactory senses, and community building. I am a living, breathing amalgamation of diverse interests, bringing this diversity to the table, even if I must build my own chair. The Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship would not just be an investment in me but an investment in a future where technology and narratives come together to build bridges, not walls. I am committed to walking this path with unwavering resolve, and this scholarship would be a monumental step in that journey.
Genna Gonzaga
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, NY
Ayooluwa Adeleye
University of Illinois at ChicagoCarpentersville, IL
As a child, my curiosity for technology led me to question the inner workings of software. I remember thinking as a 4-year-old about how Google provided search results and I couldn't understand how such a process could be efficient. My interest in computer science deepened when I moved to Nigeria and encountered limited resources for pursuing my passion. However, a chance encounter with a friend introduced me to programming at the age of 14, reigniting my love for computer science and sparking a journey of self-learning. This passion ultimately led me to pursue a degree in computer science. As I grew up in Nigeria, my passion for computer science and engineering intensified, but I faced obstacles such as lack of resources and an environment that didn't encourage self-learning. I eventually gave up on my dreams of becoming an engineer and focused on becoming a doctor as per societal expectations in Nigeria. However, luck was on my side when I met a friend who was learning programming. I immediately became friends with him, following him everywhere so he could teach me how to code. Despite being in a boarding school with strict rules against using devices, I persevered and eventually was able to learn to code. My first successful "Hello World" program was a turning point for me, it made me believe in my capability to achieve even greater things. This early experience set me on a path towards pursuing a degree in computer science, and I am eager to continue discovering the endless possibilities in the field. My primary goal in the field of computer science is to become a machine learning engineer. I am fascinated by the way machine learning can be used to analyze and make predictions from data, and I am excited about the potential for this technology to improve people's lives. To achieve this goal, I plan to complete a graduate degree in computer science, with a focus on machine learning, and gain hands-on experience through internships and projects. In addition to my goals in computer science, I also have a passion for environmentalism. I believe that technology can be used to help mitigate the effects of climate change and promote sustainable living. My non-computer science goal is to use my knowledge and skills in computer science to contribute to the development of sustainable technologies. In the future, I hope to combine my computer science and environmentalism goals by working on projects that use machine learning to analyze and predict environmental data, such as climate models or monitoring of biodiversity. By working on projects that combine these two areas, I believe I can make a meaningful impact and contribute to the development of sustainable technologies. I am confident that with the help of this scholarship, I will be able to further my education and gain the skills and experience necessary to achieve my goals in computer science and environmentalism. I am deeply committed to my pursuits, and I am eager to make a positive impact in the world.
Sadie Sawyer
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillHuntington Woods, MI
Computer fan whirring at breakneck speed, I tapped softly on the keys of my laptop underneath my blanket, careful not to wake my 11-year-old sister with whom I share a room. Typing the final semicolon, I clicked “Run and Compile” and crossed my fingers. Please work. I did a silent, 3 AM celebratory dance as the Pokémon game I had spent hours coding finally tested perfectly—and yet, I was hungry for more. A passion for computer science had emerged, fueled by my desire to create and achieve the rewarding satisfaction of finally solving the puzzle. The trial-and-error involved with the practice of computer science is riveting, and I enjoy every second of it, even the mistakes that are made. When an error arises, I am even more motivated to achieve the end result. I want to use my skills and drive to help others, specifically as a cybersecurity analyst for the federal government. At the same time, I have a great love for language learning. At fourteen, I began the arduous process of teaching myself to speak Spanish. Through watching Netflix shows and communicating daily with a pen pal in Spain—a girl who has since become one of my best friends—I have achieved fluency in Spanish over the past four years. I have now turned my attention toward Russian, a language that is incredibly relevant to current affairs and cyber security. My goal is to be accepted into UNC-Chapel Hill's Russian Language Flagship program and study abroad in a Russian-speaking region. Later, I plan to get an internship working for the federal government in cybersecurity. I hope to pursue a liberal arts degree where I have the freedom to study both my interest in language and computer science. With a degree in Computer Science and a focus on cybersecurity, I will develop the skills needed to thrive in this career. I will take advantage of research opportunities at the university I attend, working closely with professors and other like-minded students to make breakthroughs in our field while also learning the collaboration skills necessary to succeed. I will also seek out internships during my time off from school, working to make an impactful difference in the cybersecurity field and ensuring my voice is heard in group settings as a woman in STEM. My two passions may appear diametrically opposed, but to me, they're quite similar. Both forms of language, the two click together well in my brain. I want to learn as many human and computer languages as possible, combining these skills to best serve my country and defend our cyberspace. I will build software that detects phishing threats in multiple languages, identifying and defeating potential hacks and learning from each scam that is reported to its database. With a funded college education, my goal of combining these passions will be well within reach.
Logan Warren
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPittsburgh, PA
As a student at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a dual-degree in Information Science with a concentration in Networking and Security, and Digital Narrative and Interactive Design, my academic journey is rooted in a blend of technical and creative fields. This unique intersection allows me to bring a fresh perspective to the tech industry, which is characterized by a stark lack of diversity. My computer science goals are anchored in advancing cybersecurity measures. As we step deeper into the digital age, the security of information has become paramount. I aim to develop robust security solutions that can withstand the evolving threats of cyber-attacks. Through my participation in the Pitt Computer Science Club and my minor in Computer Science, I am continually refining my technical skills, focusing on programming languages like Java, Python, R, and JavaScript. However, my ambitions extend beyond the realm of coding and network security. I also hold a profound interest in storytelling and interactive design, which led me to pursue a second major in Digital Narrative and Interactive Design. My non-computer science goal is to create immersive narratives and experiences through interactive digital platforms, harnessing the power of technology to engage audiences in new and meaningful ways. The convergence of these two fields, seemingly disparate, lies at the heart of my future goals. I envision myself bridging the gap between computer science and digital narrative by developing secure, interactive platforms for storytelling. Such platforms could be used in various sectors, from education and entertainment to marketing and social advocacy. In the educational field, for instance, these platforms could present complex scientific concepts or historical events in an engaging, interactive narrative, enhancing the learning experience. In the realm of social advocacy, they could be used to raise awareness about critical issues, engaging users in interactive narratives that promote empathy and understanding. Through my work experience at Mekaworks as a Data Analyst Intern, where I programmed robots for object identification, I have already begun to explore the intersection of technology and storytelling. My role allowed me to apply technical skills in a creative context, fostering a synergy that I intend to develop further. As an advocate for diversity in tech, I believe that my unique academic focus can help challenge the homogeneity of the computer science field. I am a proud member of several organizations on campus, including the Robotics and Automation Society and the Information Science Club, where I continually strive to promote diversity and inclusion. In conclusion, my computer science and non-computer science goals, although diverse, are interconnected. They reflect my aspiration to merge technology and narrative in a way that not only enriches our digital experiences but also contributes to a more diverse and inclusive tech industry. With the support of the Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship, I am excited to advance these ambitions, contributing to a vibrant future where technology and storytelling intersect in innovative and meaningful ways.
justine alcarraz
Florida Gulf Coast UniversityLEHIGH ACRES, FL
Growing up, I spent countless afternoons at the library, lost in the endless rows of books. My love for learning was sparked by the solace I found among the pages of those books, imagining myself exploring distant lands and solving complex problems. As I got older, I discovered my passion for exploring the intersection between ancient civilizations and modern infrastructure development. This led me to pursue a civil engineering degree focusing on transportation infrastructure. Throughout my studies, I found myself drawn to computer science, recognizing its potential to revolutionize the field of civil engineering. I realized that by combining my knowledge of civil engineering with computer science, I could create innovative solutions to tackle traffic congestion and improve the overall sustainability of our transportation systems. As I progressed through my coursework, I became increasingly fascinated by using data analytics and machine learning to solve complex engineering problems. I saw the potential for these tools to improve transportation planning and reduce the environmental impact of our infrastructure. This inspired me to expand my skill set and pursue a degree in computer science. One problem that has always fascinated me is traffic congestion on highways and bridges. I worked on a research project with fellow students to better understand this issue. We aimed to identify the root causes of congestion and find sustainable solutions to alleviate the problem. We conducted extensive research, including collecting and analyzing traffic data and studying the impact of various factors, such as road design and vehicle type. With this information, we identified several key factors contributing to traffic congestion, including inadequate infrastructure, poor traffic management, and lack of public transportation. We then proposed several sustainable solutions, such as improving infrastructure design, implementing more intelligent traffic management systems, and promoting public transit. In addition to my computer science goals, I am also passionate about sociology and its potential to shape our understanding of the impact of technology on society. I am interested in exploring the intersection between civil engineering, computer science, and sociology to understand how we can create an infrastructure that is sustainable, efficient, equitable, and accessible for all. In the future, I hope to combine my passions for civil engineering, computer science, and sociology to create innovative solutions to complex problems in the transportation industry. I am particularly interested in exploring the use of data analytics and machine learning to develop more accurate and efficient traffic models. I also hope to use my knowledge of sociology to ensure that the infrastructure we build is designed with the needs of all members of society in mind. Ultimately, I believe that by combining my passions for civil engineering, computer science, and sociology, I can create innovative solutions that not only solve complex problems but also benefit society as a whole. I am excited to continue exploring the intersection of these fields and working towards a future where our transportation systems are sustainable, efficient, and equitable.
Carolline Osei
The University of Texas at DallasDallas, TX

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The application deadline is Jan 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Feb 15, 2024.

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