Meet 2022 Kathy Pace Scholarship Winners - Amanda Broussard and Chase Brown
The Kathy Pace Technology scholarship is an opportunity presented by Centre Technologies commemorating the late Kathy Pace. Kathy Pace, the mother of CEO Chris Pace, firmly believed in supporting the community and continuing education. This scholarship opportunity is awarded to individuals in the technology field who possess compassion, drive, and a commitment to enhancing technology to improve the world. This year, our Kathy Pace Scholarship recipients were Amanda Broussard and Chase Brown. In this interview, we sat down with Amanda and Chase to discuss where they're at today and where they want to be in the future.
What school are you currently attending and what are you studying?
Amanda: I go to Sam Houston University, and I’m studying GIS (Geographic Information System).
Chase: I attend Texas A&M University in the fall, and I'll be studying tech management.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the field of technology you are studying?
Amanda: I have a passion for drafting. That's what led me to learn about GIS. GIS is the steppingstone to receiving my Texas state surveyor’s license, which is the ultimate goal.
Chase: I’ve always been interested as a child, and I worked at my high school for the past four years doing pretty much the same thing that I’m attending school for.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Amanda: I see myself graduating in two years, and then working on being accepted on the Texas Board of Surveyors to take the test to get my license. Afterward, I hope to either find a surveying company to work for or continue to work for the company that I'm already working for and just continue that.
Chase: I want to graduate from A&M, get my degree, and hopefully start a job that's in a similar career field.
What specific aspects of technology are you most drawn to?
Amanda: I really like computer work. I found a passion for AutoCAD and pipe drafting whenever I was going to school for that initially. I like in-depth programming and learning how to use mathematics to map it out into something that people can use. It's fun going out into the field and plotting the points and sweating all day and pounding nails into the ground and then going back into the office and doing it all on the computer and seeing it become a 3D image that I can give to somebody.
Chase: I like the hardware part, getting in front of computers and taking them apart. I've been interested in programming too. I’ve tried to learn a few programming languages such as HTML, a little bit of Python, and SQL. I'm trying to figure out which one I like more at this point. I haven't done a lot of programming yet, just very introductory stuff.
What influenced your major?
Amanda: A lot of things. My side hobby is building self-sufficient aquatic systems. One time, I was trying to learn how to design the piping for a filtration system, and that's what sparked my initial interest in drafting which eventually morphed into GIS.
Chase: Definitely working under the tech director at Franklin High School. When I first started, my friend’s dad was a tech director there, so we worked pretty closely with him.
What are your favorite classes thus far?
Amanda: So far, it’s GIS and public health. I just took it this summer. We learned how to map out the spread of diseases and the best routes for patients to go to hospitals. It was a very interesting class. I didn't know GIS could be used for those things. Also, weirdly enough, history. I love history and it’s interesting diving more into the things you didn't get to learn in high school.
Chase: I haven't taken any because I'll start in the fall but, in high school, we took a tech maintenance class and that was a pretty fun week. We did a lot of the hands-on, taking things apart, putting them together, and working with different software. I know I have some classes in SQL and a few other languages coming up so I'm looking forward to those.
What will you be able to do now, that you could not prior to receiving the scholarship?
Amanda: I will be able to breathe a little bit financially for the next two semesters. It'll save me a lot of money that I can use for my daughter or for getting a new computer.
Chase: It will help pay for my freshman year and a little bit for my sophomore. School is pretty expensive, so it definitely helps.
Any advice you have for those aspiring to get into the field of technology?
Amanda: You can do it more than you think you can. It's not as difficult as it sounds, it's a lot more attainable.
Chase: Get the hands-on experience, whether you like it or not. A lot of people think it's complicated or really boring, but I would say it's fun.
What do you think about the fact that Centre Technologies has a scholarship program like this?
Amanda: I think it's fantastic. It's a great way to give back to people going into the technology field and I think it can help them realize that it’s not impossible to make a career out of it.
Chase: It definitely takes that financial pressure off so that you can focus more on learning about technology. Higher education has definitely gotten a lot more expensive!
In addition to winning the scholarship, Kathy Pace scholarship winners receive a guaranteed paid internship opportunity with Centre Technologies. We look forward to seeing Chase and Amanda at our Houston office when that time arrives. For now, we wish them continued success in their educational endeavors. If you or someone you know would be interested in the Kathy Pace scholarship program, feel free to visit our webpage for more information on how to apply next year!
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