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Posts Tagged ‘Computer Science’

Isaias Joshua Suarez wants to help the progression of society through scientific research. The recipient of a $3,000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship, he has entered Washington University in St. Louis where he intends to pursue majors in both Chemistry and Computer Science. Isaias explains, “The experiments carried out with the Large Hadron Collider, solid state drives in computers, and GPS technology are all modern advancements made possible through the knowledge and passion of scientific researchers. I want to be part of innovations of these types, contributing towards the progress of society by improving people’s lives. With hard work and dedication, I will be able to enter the workforce and academia allowing me to develop new systems and technologies that will benefit my community.”

Though he was Valedictorian of his high school class, Isaias wanted to prepare for the challenges of college.  He completed the Summer Academic Program at WUSTL, earning college credits while familiarizing himself with the campus. In addition to his academics, he has qualified as a radio host for the campus station, KWUR, and volunteers through music based community service. Isaias reports that his current schedule is, “a bit hectic, but manageable.”

To keep him grounded and focused during the most hectic times, Isaias reminds himself of his family values. “I learned from my parents the importance of working at my full potential. My ethics, involvements and the desire to succeed are results of my Asian American heritage, a heritage that is instilled so deeply into me that I cannot imagine what type of person I would be without it. The United States is a place that is known for being the home of immigrants from many different countries. My parents are immigrants from the Philippines. They came to this country in search of greater opportunities that they could not find back in the Philippines. As the child of immigrants, being an Asian American is an integral part of who I am and a heavy influence on my future plans.”

Isaias’s parents, HMCS (SW) Isaias C. Suarez III, USN (Ret), and Cynthia Suarez have certainly done a fine job in raising their children. A few years ago, son Emmanuel Suarez received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $4,000. In 2011, Emmanuel graduated Magna Sum Laude from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics.

ThanksUSA is proud to support our military families and encourages you to support our mission this holiday season by making your tax-deductible contribution today. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors like the ESA Foundation and individuals like you, ThanksUSA awarded over 300 scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year. Help us reach our goal of awarding 500 scholarships in 2013. Your donation will make a difference to students like Isaias:

“It is thanks to the ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship that I will be able to pursue my dream to become a researcher. To me, research is a way to give back to the community through science; a way to help out society. Without scholarships like this, the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university would not have been possible. Thank you very much for your generosity.”

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Sriratana Sutasirisap is passionate about using creativity to solve problems logically. So much so, that when it was time to declare a major at the University of Texas, Austin, Sriratana logically decided to major in both Design (Fine Arts) and Computer Science (Natural Science). Combining the two fields of study has been a challenge at times, but Sriratana is confident that she will find a rewarding career that relies on her expertise of both.

Sriratana Sutasirisap

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Although this is Sriratana’s first feature in the Scholarship News blog, she is not new to ThanksUSA. In fact, Sriratana has received $6000 in ThanksUSA scholarships since 2008. Most recently, she received a $3000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship for the 2010/2011 academic year. Without this financial aid, Sriratana doubts she would be able to carry a double major. She explains, “Because Design and Computer Science are such different fields, it will take me at least five years to graduate. With an extra year of tuition to consider, I was hesitant and thought about just pursuing Computer Science. I am very happy to have received the ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship so that I can pursue both degrees.”

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So what exactly can you do with degrees in both Design and Computer Science? Sriratana explains that the possibilities are very diverse. She could find herself working to develop a User Interface or designing Computer Graphic Imagery. She is also very interested in the invention/development aspect of the finance, movie, and technology industries. This past summer, Sriratana had a very rewarding internship with Goldman Sachs. She developed a web application for ordering software within the firm.

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Even with the demands of her studies, Sriratana maintains an impressive 3.73 GPA while being involved with many philanthropic organizations on campus. She is most involved with the China Care Organization which provides medical treatment, facilities, and individualized care for Chinese orphans. The University of Texas chapter sponsors a play group for local Chinese adoptees in the Austin area and raises funds to help orphans with medical needs. This past year, the UT chapter raised $6200 to sponsor Billy, a child with a congenital heart defect. Sriratana happily reports that Billy is recovering well.

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Sriratana and her sister, Suchada (also a previous ThanksUSA scholar), also created the Haiti Heroes Program. They designed and sold Haiti Heroes T-shirts and set up a model photo shoot to garner donations. They raised $300 from fellow students to aid Haiti.

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I asked Sriratana what advice she would offer to students who are considering a Computer Science major. She responded, “I came into Computer Science not understanding what it was all about. I took my first exam and enjoyed it! It is a very demanding major and you really have to enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise, you won’t truly appreciate staying up until 12 a.m. fixing a bug! It can lead to a very rewarding career or really cool internships with companies like Goldman Sachs, Google, or Microsoft. I would say that studying is the hardest part but the actual work is very enjoyable.”

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Sriratana also wishes to express her gratitude to the ESA Foundation for their continued support of ThanksUSA: “The scholarship allows me to follow my passions for Technology and Design. I don’t know how else to thank you, but I promise that I will put this scholarship to good use. Your kindness has inspired me to one day help others build their own careers.”

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Thank you, Sriratana, for sharing with our readers. The ThanksUSA team wishes you continued academic success and we hope you always find the time to continue your charitable efforts! Before I close, I must share one more interesting tidbit about Sriratana. She went skydiving for the first time this summer and she described the experience as being “surprisingly peaceful.” What an incredible way to describe the experience…Sriratana, may all your days be surprisingly peaceful!

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