When we think of Silicon Valley, images of glossy startup firms and opulent neighborhoods probably flash first in our minds. For at least 1 in 5 Santa Clara County residents, however, this is not the reality, as they live below the poverty line after housing costs are factored in. Santa Clara County is the home of most of what we consider Silicon Valley, specifically the cities of San Jose and Mountain View.
One Mountain View resident, Skyler, has seen the scourge of poverty and gang violence directly affect his family. Despite these obstacles, he dreams of one day being part of the cutting edge of information technology.
NCC had the pleasure to present the National Capitol Contracting Scholarship at the United States Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) CelebrAsian Procurement Conference (May 31 to June 2 in San Diego) to this young man, who recently graduated high school.
Although Skyler grew up a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley, he was part of a family of high school drop-outs and ex-gang affiliates. He recalls several eviction notices and trips to the local community food bank. He had no choice but to find work at a young age and help put food on his family’s table. Despite his mother being diagnosed with breast cancer, he maintains a positive outlook and pushes himself to do big things and continue to help provide for his family. At summer’s end, he will attend college and pursue an IT career.
This was the fifth consecutive year in which the National Capitol Contracting scholarship was awarded at CelebrAsian, and it was one of more than 20 awarded to highly intelligent and dedicated Asian American high school students from across the country, all of whom have persevered through many hardships on their way to earning their scholarships.
In addition to awarding our scholarship, NCC was heavily involved in several other aspects of the scholarship award process. We had the privilege to host the Scholarship Committee at our beautiful new offices in McLean, VA, and our Multimedia Production team created a professional video about the scholarship program, featuring past recipients, USPAACC National President and CEO Susan Au Allen, and several Asian-American CEOs including our own President and CEO Chris Marquez.
Furthermore, Chris had the personal honor of being selected as Sergeant-at-Arms for the Business Leaders & Scholarship Awards Luncheon, and had the opportunity to talk about his personal connection to the Scholarship program and introduce the MC of the event, Sonu Ratra, CEO of Akraya, an IT staffing and consulting company in Northern California.
We wish the NCC Scholarship awardee the best of luck in college and in his career endeavors. We are grateful to have had a prominent role in the USPAACC Scholarship progress, and we were honored to host the Scholarship Committee at our headquarters as we put our vision of enabling communication and collaboration into action with the members of the committee. We look forward to again playing a significant role in CelebrAsian 2018!