Meet David Shammas: STEM Student and w3r Scholarship Recipient
For many students, a STEM education is a game-changer. Students learn to embrace their creative side, treat failure as a learning lesson, adapt to change, and apply critical thinking in the face of overly simplistic or comfortable answers. In short, their education provides indispensable lessons that last a lifetime.
As STEM graduates ourselves, the w3r Consulting leadership team has experienced the ways in which immersing ourselves in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics transformed our lives. We believe that transformation should not start and end with us.
That is why we chose to dedicate a total of $100,000 in STEM/STEAM scholarships over a five-year period coinciding with our 20th anniversary. Working with the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, we provided 20 students with $5,000 scholarships to reduce their costs and encourage their STEM education.
Since then, w3r Consulting has kept up with many of these promising young men and women, listening to their stories and celebrating their wins from the sidelines. In the last few weeks, we had a chance to catch up with David Shammas, one of our STEM scholarship recipients through the Chaldean Chamber, to ask about his progress, his passion, and his ongoing participation within his community. David graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Oakland University in 2021 and is currently working for General Motors as a software developer. Here is what he had to say:
w3r Consulting: What drew you to a STEM education?
David Shammas: There are many reasons that drew me to STEM education. From childhood, I always wondered how technology works and links the whole world together as well as how applications could bring people closer.
First of all, pursuing STEM education allowed me to have a wide variety of opportunities after graduation. Second, STEM education improves critical thinking. Being a problem solver on the job could lead to being a problem solver in real life. Finally, innovation. STEM Education allows me to have the chance to work on the cutting edge of fields like medicine, computer technology, robotics, and more.
w3r: How did the scholarship help you (i.e., tuition, books, etc.)?
David Shammas: 2020 was a tough year for a lot of people including myself. Many people lost their jobs or were forced to be part-time employees. I was working part-time at a company while I was going to school full time. This scholarship helped me pay my tuition and books without taking out a loan. It also took the stress out of the situation since I was not working full time which allowed me to completely focus on my education.
w3r: How has the scholarship impacted your community engagement (i.e. giving of your time, talent, and donations, etc.)?
David Shammas: As of now, I’m able to give back even more to my community which has helped me in the past. I joined the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce as well as the Chaldean American Student’s Association at Oakland University to help other young professionals reach their education goals. I make myself available to whoever needs help in their education process. Also, I’m a member of the Saint Toma Syriac Catholic Church youth committee where we voluntarily support the church and the people.
w3r: How has your STEM education impacted your life so far?
David Shammas: STEM teaches critical thinking and innovation. It focuses on logical thought processes and problem-solving which allowed myself to further develop mental habits that helped me succeed in my field. In my opinion, STEM education is about teamwork and collaboration of professionals from different disciplines, and it offers learners a new mindset and skills valued in any profession.
w3r: What do you want from your career in five years?
David Shammas: First, I’d like to pursue a master’s degree. That will allow me to seek more opportunities in the future. Additionally, I see myself in a management position where I lead a team and have great outcomes. Also, keep helping and giving back to my community.
w3r: 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?
David Shammas: I think it is very important to invest in future professionals because scholarships make a direct impact on the community by helping deserving students afford higher education and making college education accessible to more people. On the other hand, providing scholarship assistance may help companies build and expand their brand. Also, it allows them to attract and retain talents.
w3r: We want to say thank you to David and all of our other scholarship recipients for their dedication to their education and their communities. We wish them the best as they go forward in their careers.
Want to stay current with the ways in which w3r Consulting, our STEM recipients, and community partners give back? Take a look at our blog for the latest stories of how our incredible people give back as well as insights for your business or career.