Aaron Goodson: Developer and w3r Scholarship Winner
Our story starts with the power of a STEM education. Eric Hardy and Patrick Tomina met at the University of Michigan-Dearborn while studying mechanical engineering, recognizing their shared passions and values. As part of their STEM education, the two not only learned about engineering, but expanded their resilience, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It’s those game-changing qualities which have transformed their personal and professional lives for the better.
The w3r Consulting team has always been excited about supporting driven young people who are enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Working with the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, we endowed a total of $100,000 in scholarships ($5,000 for each of 20 incredible students) to aid the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators.
Following the stories of these promising young men and women has been exciting. Watching them overcome challenges and continue to grow their education shows just what people can achieve when given the opportunity. In recent weeks, we checked in with Aaron Goodson, one of our STEM scholarship recipients who graduated with an AAS – IT, Programming at Macomb Community College, to hear about his accomplishments, ongoing education, and contributions to the community. Here is what he had to say:
w3r Consulting: What drew you to a STEM education?
Aaron: Growing up, I was always interested in technology. My interest started with video games and as I was going through elementary school, my parents got me an interesting programming book called Hello World! It introduces you to the world of programming and made me fall in love with programming. That’s been the career I’ve aimed for while going through college. The ideal types of projects are in the web development, software, and app development space.
w3r Consulting: What have you been up to lately?
Aaron: As of now, I’m training in this apprenticeship program where they assist you and provide you with classes to help you get your COMPTIA certifications as well as other certifications.
w3r Consulting: How did the scholarship help you (i.e., tuition, books, etc.)?
Aaron: The STEM scholarship helped cover the tuition as well as the textbooks, so I could focus on the classes I needed to get through in order to get my degree.
w3r Consulting: Have you had a chance to help your community through the knowledge you obtained from your hiring education (i.e. giving of your time, talent, and donations, etc.)?
Aaron: Yes, I have used my skills to help a nonprofit. A little while ago, I was part of an internship at a nonprofit organization called Journey. Through them, I helped to develop a few mobile apps as part of a few projects.
There were two apps we developed which were mostly geared towards helping out the Michigan community. One helped teachers and educators in Michigan get access to exclusive discounts and services. The other one is a companion app for an event called Find Your Future. It’s part of the United Way program. It helped students navigate the Find Your Future events that happened.
w3r Consulting: How has your STEM education impacted your life so far?
Aaron: My STEM education has given me quite a good few opportunities so far, and I can also push myself to learn more and more about technology every day.
w3r Consulting: What do you want from your career in five years?
Aaron: In the short term, I am looking to get into a junior software developer position working with larger teams, so that I can get real experience on what that is like. I’ve mostly been doing solo projects or projects with one other person.
w3r Consulting: Why is it important for companies like w3r Consulting and organizations like the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce to invest in future STEM professionals and STEM education?
Aaron: Because I think technology is the future of every industry. People pursuing their STEM education need the support they can get so they can give back to the industry.
w3r Consulting: Anything you’ve learned that might help the next generation coming up?
Aaron: All I have to say is if you need help with getting your education, just ask questions and consult your entire network and your connections. See what kind of assistance you can provide with your education to always keep on learning.
w3r: Thank you for your time, Aaron. We appreciate all the hard work you and our other scholarship recipients have put into your education and making our community a better place. Good luck with your further education and the next step in your career.
Want to stay informed about how w3r Consulting gives back to the community? Take a look at our blog for more stories about our STEM scholars and the incredible members of our team give back to the community.