June 14, 2022

Q&A with Megdelawit Anbese, Aura STEM Scholarship Recipient at Howard University

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A computer science major from Nashville, Tennessee, Megdelawit receives four-year Aura STEM Scholarship

Aura is on a mission to create a safer internet for everyone, and to accomplish this, it is crucial that - now and for the future - we are building teams with varied perspectives and investing talent underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries. That’s why Aura is proud to award the inaugural Aura STEM Scholarship to Megdelawit Anbese, Nashville, Tennessee, to support her studies in computer science at Howard University in Washington, D.C., for the next four years.

Check out our Q&A with Aura STEM Scholar Megdelawit Anbese below:

1. Where in the U.S. do you live? How long have you lived there?

  • I live in Nashville, Tennessee, and I have lived in Nashville for about 15 years.

2. How have you had a positive impact on your local community?

  • I have facilitated multiple fundraisers, church events and tutoring sessions within the Ethiopian community in Nashville and raised funds for war affected civilians back home [in Ethiopia].

3. Why computer science? What attracted you to the field?

  • I first fell in love with computer science when I took AP Computer Science Principles my sophomore year of highschool. Then, through some research, I realized the major deficit of programmers in Ethiopia, which further solidified my decision.

4. You've overcome a number of obstacles at such a young age. What's your secret to overcoming challenges?

  • I overcome challenges by acknowledging that it is normal to ask for help sometimes. Even if I don't have the solution to a problem, someone around me might.

5. What has been your key to your success thus far in life?

  • Serving others, committing to a plan and seeing it through no matter how difficult it gets, and honoring God in my life has always been and will always be the keys to my success.

6. What are some of the major ways general life in Ethiopia is different from the United States?

  • General life in Ethiopia is very family-centered. To elaborate, households in Ethiopia generally consist of all members of a direct and distant family as well. Since there are many family members, things like child care aren't really a concern because everyone pitches in.

7. What do you believe is the value of prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion? For both those being invested in, but also those doing the investing?)

  • I believe it is critical that the STEM field resembles the society we live in today. People come from all areas of life and have a variety of skills that they can use to help improve STEM as a whole.
  • I also believe that it's critical to recognize that many people lack the resources they require to pursue a career in STEM, which is why it's critical to invest in communities that lack such resources. Others who have been invested in should continue to invest in those who have not been given the same opportunity.

8. What would you like to see change about this world in the next 10 years? How do you want to be a part of that change?

  • I'd like to see the world become more compassionate over the next ten years. I've seen that as a society, we lack compassion and empathy for one another, which is a contributing reason to the current state of the world. In all interactions, I aim to lead with compassion.

9. What attracted you to Howard University?

  • The history. Howard has a rich history and its alumni have contributed to much of the change in the world we see today and to be a part of that in any way is an honor.