- Gwinnett County School District
- GCPS News
Yoanna Turura, a Grayson High School graduate, receives $40,000 scholarship and guaranteed internship from Amazon to pursue undergraduate degree in computer science
June 8, 2021
Yoanna Turura is among 100 new Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipients to receive $40,000 over four years to study computer science starting this fall and a guaranteed, paid internship opportunity at Amazon after their freshman year of college.
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career education program that works to inspire and educate children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science and coding.
Yoanna Turura, a recent Grayson High School graduate, is an Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipient. Turura, who will attend MIT in the fall, plans to major in computer science and engineering. In addition to receiving the scholarship of $40,000 over four years for her ongoing education, she also is guaranteed a paid internship offer at Amazon after her freshman year of college to gain critical real-world work experience. Sierra Frisbee, who attended the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, also is an Amazon Future Engineer scholarship winner. (Check the GCPS website for a news release about her scholarship.)
Recipients of the honor were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need.
Turura graduated from Grayson High School as an Honor Graduate, ranking sixth in a class of more than 700 students, and she is an AP Scholar with Distinction. Turura earned Grayson High’s Community Service Award, is an active member of Beta Club and FBLA, is one of four co-founders of the Grayson High School UNICEF chapter and served as Chapter President.
Ebony Thornton, a foreign language teacher at Grayson High, says Turura is special. “I had the pleasure of teaching Yoanna in my Spanish I class, and I saw right away what a remarkable young woman she is,” Thornton said. “She not only thrived in her speaking and writing skills, but she also wanted to know more about the target culture and use the language outside of the classroom. She was the Spanish I Student of the Year at Grayson for the 2018-2019 school year, and that same year she received a rating of Superior at the FLAG Spoken Language Contest for Level 1 Spanish students.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2019 to 2029, the market for computer science professionals will grow 11 percent faster than the average for all occupations and, in 2020, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250, which is more than twice the median annual wage for all occupations in the U.S. Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a small percentage from underserved backgrounds. Students from underserved backgrounds are 8 to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken AP computer science in high school.
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program intended to inspire and educate millions of students globally, including hundreds of thousands of students in the U.S. each year. Students explore computer science through school curriculum and project based learning using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Amazon Future Engineer also awards 100 students each year with four-year, $40,000 scholarships and paid internships at Amazon, and celebrates teachers with professional development and $25,000 Teacher of the Year Awards. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million commitment to STEM and computer science education. The program is available in the U.S., UK, Canada, and France.