Amazon honors computer science educators with 2021 teacher of the year award

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SEATTLE – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is delighted to announce the 2021 class of recipients of the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year award. Each year, Amazon recognizes ten dynamic teachers for their work in inspiring students from underserved and historically underrepresented communities to pursue careers in computer science and robotics. The following educators are this year’s recipients:

  • Mark Ahrens, Texas High School, Texarkana, Texas

  • Cesar Barreto, Explorations Academy, Bronx, NY

  • Sheena Birgans-Wright, Prairie-Hills High School, Markham, Illinois

  • Harold Brown, Newark College Academy, Newark, New Jersey

  • Melissa Collins, John P. Freeman Elective School, Memphis, TN

  • Christopher Hatten, KIPP Central City Academy, New Orleans, LA

  • Lorand Incze, Alisal High School, Salinas, California

  • Terry Laesser, Melvindale High School, Melvindale, Michigan

  • Aris Pangilinan, Cardozo Education Campus, Washington, DC

  • Michelle Pierce, Mallard Creek STEM Academy, Charlotte, North Carolina


“It has been a particularly difficult year for teachers, so we are delighted to recognize their hard work and commitment to their students’ success,” said Victor Reinoso, Global Director, Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon in the Community. “Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year winners work diligently to help students from underserved and under-represented communities acquire life-changing skills to propel their future in IT. and beyond.”

Recipients were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in computer science education, a recommendation from a school administrator, and compelling personal stories about their schools and students. Scholarship America reviewed the applications and selected the ten winners.

Teachers learned of the honor when their principals and colleagues surprised them with an Amazon box full of Amazon Future Engineer loot. Each of the award-winning teachers received an award valued at over $ 30,000, which includes $ 25,000 to expand the teaching of computer science and / or robotics in their respective schools, as well as an award in $ 5,000 cash for each educator to celebrate their exemplary work with students.

“Receiving this award means that my hard work and dedication to the students has paid off. I introduced my students to coding because I understand that we live in the digital age and that our children are our future, ”said Dr. Melissa Collins, computer teacher at John P. Freeman elective school. “We need to work with our next generation so that they can help change the narrative and become STEM professionals who help motivate and encourage other students.”

Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer training program designed to inspire and educate millions of students around the world, including hundreds of thousands of students in the United States each year. Students explore computer science through the curriculum and project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Amazon Future Engineer also rewards 100 students each year with scholarships of $ 40,000 and four-year paid internships at Amazon. Now in its second year, the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Award program is part of Amazon’s commitment to STEM and computer science education. For 2021, Amazon aims to reach 1.6 million students from historically under-represented communities around the world through Amazon Future Engineer with virtual and hands-on learning of real-world-inspired IT projects. The program is currently available in the US, UK, France and Canada.

Computer science is the fastest growing profession in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), yet only 8% of STEM graduates graduate with a computer science degree, with a small percentage of under-represented communities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the market for IT professionals will grow 11% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average for all other occupations.

Learn more about some of our 2021 Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year award winners at About Amazon.

If you or someone you know would like to be considered for this honor, sign up for an email reminder to apply this fall for the Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year award.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than focus on competitors, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be the world’s most customer-centric company, the world’s best employer, and the world’s safest workplace. Customer reviews, one-click purchases, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios and The Climate Les pledges are some of the things that Amazon has come up with. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.


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