Gideon, a recipient of an SME Education Foundation scholarship, is studying mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. With a background in applied physics and mathematics from Morehouse College, Gideon’s focused on excellence now — and giving back to his community at the same time.
Coming to America from west-central Africa (Cameroon) when he was eight years old with his father and older brother, Gideon grew up in Maryland. Accomplished in both academics and athletics in high school, he was well prepared for his college experience. “My transition wasn’t hard, really,” Gideon said. “I had a 4.0 in my first semester. I knew that you must work on grades right away — it’s easier to sustain a good GPA than to build it back up if it slides.”
He credits a wide network of support from his family, his teachers and counselors for direction, assistance and ongoing encouragement. Mentors have helped financially and offered counsel throughout his college career. “They’re the reason I’m here, and they’ve inspired me to one day give back to community, family and those who I can help.”
A track athlete in high school, Gideon draws comparisons to the hurdles and demands of his endeavors today. “I did long jump, triple jump, sprints — anything but distance running. But I have a long way to go, and I know time flies by quickly. Every semester is a sprint, but it’s another milestone.”
Maintaining an impressive GPA, he notes that grades are indeed important as a metric but understands that an internal focus on the material, the lessons and knowledge are just as important. “I study and research everything. I don’t want to know just the ‘what,’ but the ‘why’ and ‘how.’
Scholarships have been an important part of enabling and sustaining Gideon’s academic career. “Scholarships are life changing. They shift the momentum and let me focus on my education. For me, they’ve been a necessity — they’ve changed everything. I feel blessed.”
Curious, inquisitive, intellectual and aware, he finds inspiration in his studies and from his family, mentors and supporters. And with that inspiration, Gideon’s aspirations grow. “Engineering is flexible and broad. I want to give back as much as I can and wherever I can to my community in Cameroon and my communities here.”