Meet USM's Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Recipient – The University of Southern Mississippi

Mon, 10/02/2023 – 10:36am | By: Ivonne Kawas
USMWith the support from an Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship, Micah Hill is attending The University of Southern Mississippi (USM)’s School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering, alongside her brother, Samuel Hill, and aspires to become an inspiration for young women and underrepresented students.
Both siblings’ drive for academic excellence has been shaped by their upbringing in a household that has always fostered an environment of success and perseverance. Being the younger one, Micah has also been inspired by witnessing the academic triumphs of her brother who is a 2021 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipient and a current student at USM majoring in cybersecurity.
Her love for technology traces back to when she was in eighth grade. Micah recalls receiving an invite from a teacher to attend a Hackathon. Flashforward to today, she finds herself experiencing her freshman year at USM as an information technology major.
USM“At the Hackathon, I learned how to code an app, and what once felt intimidating and overly complicated started feeling more intuitive. I then found joy in creating my own designs,” said Micah. “This led me to develop a love for technology, and years later, I’m now experiencing my freshman year at USM as an information technology major. I have a keen interest in diving deep into web development by learning how to code, while also building, analyzing, and fixing hardware.”
Micah, who attended Laurel High School in Laurel, Miss., got the chance to obtain a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. The high school offers juniors the opportunity to pursue their collegiate education early through a rigorous application process that requires students to have a certain GPA and ACT scores to qualify.
“Education has always been an important pillar in my pursuits, so I was steadfast in my belief that the Middle College Program would set me up for success,” said Micah.
Micah went on to emphasize that while the Middle College Program may not align with the expectations of those seeking a traditional high school experience, it has uniquely positioned her to stand out in her scholarship applications.
“Middle College students commit to attending and taking college-level courses, which often means they spend minimal time at their high school. This choice requires accepting a different path than many of one’s peers, altering expectations for the senior year experience,” said Micah.
“Pursuing this program represents a significant commitment, but I can confidently say that I have no regrets, as it has allowed me to stand out from my peers when applying to scholarships.”
Amazon’s Future Engineer Scholarship awards $40,000 in funds to students who want to study computer science at a university of their choice.
“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime, as being selected as an Amazon Future Engineer scholar has provided me with the financial means to pursue my college education.”
Micah praises her parents and family for their unwavering support: “Achieving this prestigious scholarship wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support of my parents and family. Their dedication to instilling a passion for academics and hard work in me has brought me to where I stand today.”
As an Amazon scholar, students get an offer to experience a paid internship at the world’s leading online marketplace upon the completion of the student’s freshman year of college.
“This scholarship also guarantees a paid internship at Amazon after my freshman year. Amazon will arrange for scholars like me to travel to their headquarters, typically in Seattle, Washington, or New York City,” said Micah.
Samuel, who has completed multiple internships, is eager to share valuable insights and provide mentorship as she begins her journey at Amazon.
Micah notes that he has consistently offered advice, the most recent being: “In order to thrive in the competitive tech industry, it’s crucial to engage in activities beyond the classroom. Whether it involves joining clubs, finding internships to gain real-world experience, or even taking up teaching roles, students should actively pursue these opportunities to enhance their career readiness.”
Amazon’s internship serves as a stepping-stone for a successful career in tech. Micah plans to take her brother’s advice and make the most out of this opportunity. Additionally, at USM, she is currently involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Tennis Club, and Honors College Community Life.
“I’m particularly looking forward to the internship, as this opportunity promises to expand my network in tech and enhance my professional experience. While at USM, I hope to continue to get involved, ultimately aiming to become a member of the Student Government Association to serve as the voice of the Southern Miss community,” said Micah.
“I’m starting to see the positive ripple effects of hard work. Completing two years of college by high school, has given me more academic freedom to explore classes that I can take for enjoyment rather than strictly for credit,” added Micah.
For anyone with even a spark of interest in this scholarship, Micah encourages all to take that bold step forward.
“For those even slightly interested in applying for Amazon’s Future Engineer Scholarship, go for it! Don’t let intimidation or doubt stop you from pursuing your aspirations. This opportunity can open so many doors and propel you to places you may have never expected to be. Remember to be persistent in your pursuit of reaching your full potential and strive to bring your ambitions to fruition.”
Micah personifies the Southern Miss mantra. She has lofty goals and a resilient spirit. She is adamant about succeeding in the tech industry and joining an organization that targets underrepresented students, particularly young women of color.
“There is a disproportionate amount of people of color in tech, and I want to help close the gap and improve equity,” said Micah. “My first step towards this goal is to obtain my collegiate education, so I can teach students the skills that will make them successful in this field.”
“The future is bright, and I cannot wait to make an impact and help the next generation of underrepresented students to excel in tech.”
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