Taking advantage of opportunities in and out of the classroom, Edward is gaining the skills and experience to become a next-generation business owner.
“Growing up in Cameroon, we didn’t have as many resources to build hands-on skills,” said Edward. “But I have loved everything about computers since I was a little boy and moving to the U.S. has given me a chance to gain new knowledge and also put it into practice. I hope to someday take what I learn back to Cameroon, so the people there have more opportunities to grow, too.”
Much of what Edward is learning comes from both the academic and personal development experiences he is gaining as a student at Laurel College Center.
“Being a college student is about much more than just the education you gain in the classroom,” said Edward, who resides in Laurel. “It’s about learning new skills, having the chance to make connections with others, becoming a problem solver, and being open to trying new things. Laurel College Center has given me all of this, and more.” Edward has taken advantage of opportunities to get involved on campus. He has served as a senator for the campus’ Student Government Association and has been elected to the role of SGA President for the 2018-2019 school year.
Working toward an associate degree as a first step, Edward plans to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity and software development. A firm believer in the importance of gaining diverse experiences throughout his lifetime, in addition to his entrepreneurial goals, he hopes to teach, author a book, and perhaps even pick up some new cooking skills in the midst of his journey.
“I came to the U.S. in search of opportunities to learn and grow,” he said. “And I definitely am accomplishing that.”
UPDATE ON EDWARD’S JOURNEY – January 2020
May 2019 was a special time for Edward. Not only did he earn his associate degree in computer science, he also had the honor of serving as the commencement speaker at his graduation ceremony.
“It was an amazing opportunity,” said Edward. “My key message was to encourage my fellow classmates to go out in the world, be bold, and live their best lives.”
Soon after, Edward transferred to University of Maryland College Park in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in information science, with a concentration on data sciences. He also made it a point to get involved with a few extra-curricular programs on campus. He is part of his school’s Southern Management Leadership Program, a scholarship-based program which emphasizes the key values of leadership and entrepreneurship. He also serves as president of the We Are Empowered To Achieve The impossible (WETATi) Club, a national non-profit with an active chapter at UMD College Park.
“These programs helped me a lot in terms of adjusting to life at a new school,” said Edward. “I made a lot of connections with people who have similar interests and goals as soon as I got to College Park.”
Edward is taking five courses per semester and plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in May 2021. He hopes to get a job in his field at that point, while continuing his education; first to obtain a master’s degree and eventually a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence.
“I will be learning forever,” said Edward, with a laugh. “It’s a given, based on my field.”