A young South African woman is among the 10 recipients of the BlackBerry Scholars Program – an initiative designed to inspire more women to enter the mobile computing industry and pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The recipients will receive full, four-year university tuition scholarships to the school of their choice for degrees in STEM-related fields, as well as mentorship and professional opportunities. Empowered by BlackBerry’s support, the young women will not only advance their own careers, but also help inspire and encourage women in their communities and around the world to pursue STEM careers.
The BlackBerry Scholars Program, announced in May 2013 at BlackBerry Live, received more than 500 applications from 65 countries over a two-month period. The 10 recipients were selected by a panel of inspirational and accomplished women leaders in their own right.
Each recipient was selected for her academic merit and passion for entering the mobile computing industry.
In addition to meeting competitive academic criteria, showcasing extracurricular involvement and providing recommendation letters, applicants were asked to explain how they plan to make their mark on the world, highlight someone who has inspired them, and explore what a future in mobile computing means to them.
The recipients are:
* Katherine Chen (US), who will be pursuing her degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Harvard College in the US;
* Tafadzwa Makaza (South Africa), who will be pursuing her honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Coventry University in the UK;
* Anastasia Santasheva (Canada), who will be pursuing her degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada;
* Dinah Shi (Canada), who will be pursuing her degree in Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada;
* Leah Clark (UK), who will be pursuing her degree in Computer Science at Durham University in the UK;
* Rozie Yeghiazarian (US), who will be pursuing her degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the US;
* Khuyen Duong (Vietnam), who will be pursuing her degree in Computer Science at Oklahoma State University in the US;
* Aneesha Kommineni (US), who will be pursuing her degree in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin in the US;
* Sravya Vishnubhatla (US), who will be pursuing her degree in Biological Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US; and
* Xiao Yan (Cheyenne) Guo (Canada), who will be pursuing her honours degree in Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada.