North Carolina A&T State University junior computer science major Angelica Willis

N.C. A&T Student Honored by White House

North Carolina A&T State University junior computer science major Angelica Willis was one of nine individuals from across the country honored as a White House Champion of Change on Jan. 26.

"Being selected as a Champion of Change for Computer Science Education is an amazing honor that celebrates my accomplishments thus far, but I also see it as a call to action to continue working toward my goals for my education, research and community outreach surrounding computer science,” Willis said.

As an honoree, Willis participated in a panel discussion on computer science education beyond the classroom as well as a roundtable discussion in the West Wing, which included the United States Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith. 

Willis currently oversees an initiative to develop an entrepreneurship, design and computer science-centered Makerspace for at-risk youth and underrepresented communities in Greensboro. Relatively new in concept, a Makerspace is a do-it-yourself space that gives individuals access to various hardware, software, electronics, supplies and tools to be able to create, invent and learn collaboratively.  

The Champions of Change for computer science program honors everyday Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities including outstanding students who demonstrate creativity in their applications, or a high proficiency in computer science and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom. It is also a result of President Obama issuing the challenge to help win America’s future by out-educating, out-innovating and out-building the nation’s competitors in the 21st Century.

Willis is also a 2015-2016 Student Ambassador through the White House Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) All-Stars program; a 2016 CODE2040 Fellow; a 2016 Apple HBCU Scholar; and a Stanford University Epicenter's University Innovation Fellow. In addition, she interned with NASA, working on ecological forecasting research with space satellites to support reforestation in Rwanda.

Willis’ profile can be viewed on the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities website.