FOSSI | Meet Elijah Lewis: 2023 FOSSI Scholar Attending North Carolina A&T State University

Meet Elijah Lewis: 2023 FOSSI Scholar Attending North Carolina A&T State University

May 3, 2024

FOSSI: Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a rising freshman computer science student at North Carolina A&T. I graduated from the STEM magnet program at Lithia Springs High School. My concentration was in computer science and engineering, and I earned certifications in both fields.  Outside of my academic career, I have also been an active member of clubs and athletic teams at my school. I was part of the Chess Club, Robotics Club, Key Club, and National Honor Society. As for the athletics, I was a member of my school’s cross-country team and golf team.

I am very interested in all STEM fields and currently use my knowledge to develop mobile applications and conduct data science research to increase the quality of life for people, globally. In my free time, I'm often outside enjoying nature while skateboarding, running, or playing sports.

FOSSI: Why are you passionate about pursuing a degree in a STEM-related field?

I am extremely passionate about STEM because it opens the doors for me to help make people's lives easier while also introducing them to new concepts. For example, one of the main issues that I’m working to resolve within the STEM field is cybercrime, specifically the type that targets susceptible populations. As a child, I remember seeing many ads on websites, and although they seemed harmless at first, I would later learn that many contained malware and viruses that would ruin devices. While many young children fall for these ads, a large portion of the elderly population is at risk as well. However, this deception can be reduced with extensive research in cybersecurity. With the use of STEM concepts and theories, many issues across the globe can be resolved efficiently.

FOSSI: Why is receiving the FOSSI scholarship important for you?

When deciding on a college, I graded the schools based on the quality of their programs, location, and comfort level. After being accepted into numerous great universities, I yearned to attend North Carolina A&T, but my financial situation was making this dream seem bleak. However, after receiving the FOSSI scholarship, I was elated.

With the scholarship, I was afforded the opportunity to attend my dream school without any financial burden looming over my head. In addition to this, I began to feel thankful as I realized that people who did not yet know me, believed in my abilities and were willing to support me. On top of the scholarship, I  am also grateful to be matched with a mentor who will make my experience of maneuvering through college and my career, enjoyable and full of guidance and support which will lessen many stressors. 

FOSSI: Who is a role model that has influenced you?

Amongst the significant influences in my life, my pastor and Fredrick Douglass, stands out in terms of role models. With my career, I aspire to increase the quality of life for people and reduce injustices globally by introducing them to new information with data science research. Gathering and spreading information can become taxing and tiresome, however, Fredrick Douglass’ patient and persistent method of spreading information has served as a guide for me and my career. Similarly, the empathy, sympathy, and faithfulness taught by my pastor have further influenced my mission. Both figures have taught me that we should love one another and always be willing to help others. They are also the reason why I am so passionate about education and information as a whole.

FOSSI: Fast forward – where do you see yourself in ten years?

Ten years from now, I will be working in the cybersecurity field to ensure that people’s data remains secure and safe. In addition to this, I will have established my data science firm that will work to research issues regarding education and information. This firm would establish multiple facilities around the world and impact millions of families for the better.

FOSSI: Share a few fun facts about yourself.

  • I love being outside in nature, skateboarding, and running.  
  • As a young child, I was fascinated with Hot Wheels and Legos.
  • During my high school career, I developed numerous applications and games.  
  • Currently, my favorite music genres are drum n bass/jungle, rap, and neo soul.

Hear more from Elijah about why attending an HBCU is important to him.


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