Through programs offered at Skyline High School and a $40,000 scholarship from Amazon, senior Adrian Mendez's future is full of possibility.
Mendez is one of 250 students across the nation to receive a prestigious scholarship from Amazon this year.
“The Amazon Future Engineer scholarship is a childhood-to-career initiative that is designed to inspire and educate millions of students each year from underrepresented communities and build life-changing skills that will leverage computer science and coding to bring their dreams to life,” a news release from the St. Vrain Valley School District, or SVVSD, stated.
The Amazon scholarship offers its recipients $40,000 toward their pursuit of a college degree in computer science, as well as an internship with Amazon after graduation, according to Mendez.
“Being an Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipient is very emotional and exciting,” Mendez stated in the news release. “It’s a huge relief for how I will pay for college, and it will make it easier for my parents.”
Mendez, a first generation college student, plans to attend the Colorado School of Mines, where he will work toward a master’s degree in computer science and a minor in instructional engineering beginning this fall, he said.
Mendez attributes his accomplishments to his involvement in Skyline High School’s P-TECH program since middle school, also called FalconTECH.
According to SVVSD’s website, FalconTECH allows Skyline’s students to earn a high school diploma while also earning an associate degree in computer information systems through Front Range Community College.
In addition to helping Mendez cultivate an interest in computer science and earn an associates degree, the FalconTECH program created an internship opportunity with International Business Machines, or IBM, last summer.
At IBM, Mendez served as a leader of a global marketing team that was responsible for creating an app that would allow people to buy video games digitally or as hard copies, Mendez explained.
Mendez plans to intern at IBM again this summer and earn money to buy a car he can use to travel between the Colorado School of Mines and Longmont, he said.
“The money and internship opportunities Amazon has given me are really going to help me as I head into my future career,” Mendez said. “I am really excited to see what I can do with the opportunities the scholarship has provided me with.”