1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
I have always sought to honor the name my parents gave me: Immanuel, meaning “God is with us.” When I struggled, when I failed, when I was rejected, I remembered that God is with us. Rather than give up, I pushed ahead. And at the culminating point of my doctorate degree, instead of letting me rest on my accolades, God was leading me to do more.
While writing my dissertation, I used my much-needed breaks to write my first children’s book, The Adventures of Jamear: Shapes All Around. It’s about a young African American boy who is very curious and learns about mathematics with his father as they walk to and from school. God led me to share the book in a local school once it was published. When I was in those classrooms, I noticed that some students were struggling with basic math concepts, just as I had at that age.
God was calling me to do more. I got in contact with the school’s Boys and Girls Club and created a workshop for them based on culturally relevant math problems.
The Club facilitated this supplementary math education; however, I did not stop there. I developed a math bootcamp where students completed sixteen worksheets each month, which my Cal Poly students helped grade. With God’s grace, I was able to share and expand this program, offering it free-of-charge to benefit underprivileged students across California as well as in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Davenport, and Chicago.
My undergrads and I were evaluating more than a thousand worksheets per week. I decided to hit the pause button on the program’s growth and evaluate the work that had already been done. I developed software to analyze the data, quantifying how the students had learned best. As I became more engaged in programming, I realized that God had laid before me another opportunity to do more.
I am currently developing the Data Science Academy, wherein I am using my gift of teaching and my statistical knowledge to teach data science to high school students who may not otherwise receive this curriculum in their schools.
As a professor, I inherently support and teach undergraduate students. But it is my work outside the university system where I see God’s plan for me most taking shape, serving children at every stage of mathematical education. When I think about my name, “God is with us,” I reflect on how God is with all of us. He does not discriminate by age or gender, skin color or school district. As I continue to serve and reach more students, I know I am using my gifts as God intends for me. He is leading me to do more.
Data Science Academy:
"Many ways to the top of the mountain, choose 1. ...,
... many ways to the top of the mountain, KNOW MANY."
Best advice I ever received
My undergrad alma mater
University Maryland Baltimore County
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
Nobody knows I
can build computers for fun!
My latest accomplishment
Data Science Academy
GATO365 Math Boot Camp
Children's Book Author
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