A “prime” opportunity

Four Jones seniors granted Amazon STEM scholarship


Just over a month ago, four seniors were recognized as recipients of the Amazon Future Engineer scholarship.

The award totals up to $40,000 in grants and scholarships to be allocated to a college or university of a student’s choosing, as well as a paid internship at Amazon. Jones, alongside a Texas high school, is home to the most recipients of the award this year.

Julie My Thai ‘22, Ben Cole ‘22, Lijuan Qiao ‘22, and Maro Rosier ‘22 were awarded the grants. They have all been active in the computer science program at Jones.

“I transferred from AP Computer Science Principles to AP Computer Science A within the first few weeks of school because I wanted more of a challenge,” said My Thai.

Cole had a slower entry into computer science, taking a few classes over the course of his later years at Jones.

“I took AP Computer Science Principles during my junior year, and then AP Computer Science A senior year,” Cole said. “I loved the creative component of principles, and that’s why I decided to take A.”

Most were introduced to the opportunity by teachers and family members.

“My mom got an email about the program and came into my room to encourage me to apply,” said Cole.

My Thai learned about the scholarship through her sister, who works in the technology sector.

“My sister is a software engineer who heard about the Amazon program, and she told me to send in an application,” My Thai said.

All four of the recipients were surprised with the award in front of local news stations, school administrators, and their fellow students.

“I’m extremely excited about the internship component. I think it’s even more important than the scholarship,” said Qiao.

Computer science is believed to be a growing industry, which Jones cites as the reason for making it an academic requirement. 

“I think, in the future, computer science is going to be more important than a lot of other things even though it’s still in its beginning stages,” said Cole. 

Computer science isn’t exclusive to working with technology or coding. My Thai proves it can be used in all fields, such as working with animals. 

“I’ve always wanted to work with 

animals, so I hope to do a double major in biology and computer science,” said My Thai. “I want to work for the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] as a wildlife biologist.”

Qiao believes juniors should apply for the opportunity once they get the chance. 

“[They should] definitely apply because my extracurriculars were not that good, and I still got it,” said Qiao. “[They should] just go for [their] chance.”

Similar sentiments were shared by My Thai and Cole. 

“If you know [computer science] is something you want to do, just go for it,” said My Thai. 

A “prime” opportunity

Four Jones seniors granted Amazon STEM scholarship