Devin Smoot, a computer science major, is very active on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his community. One of Devin's mission's has been to work on the Blue Thunder Alley project. With this program, Devin is working to develop the SWOSU High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster for undergraduate research. He was selected to represent the SWOSU HPC team in meeting with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center researchers to establish research collaborations, resulting in an award of $40,000 of Oklahoma's NASA EPSCoR funding and $36,000 of SWOSU organized research funds. Devin served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps and has also been active in the community by being involved with the youth group at his church and also developing their computer network. Because of his Native American heritage, Devin has a goal to begin a non-profit that can teach various programming and computer skills to minorities in Oklahoma.
Due to my Native American heritage and tribal security work for an Oklahoma Native American tribe, I have gained an insight into the capabilities of minority groups and the serious need of education applicable to current job markets. My computer science background and Christian standards have always led me to volunteer my efforts, abilities, and skills. I have done so for my church by running their network and website.
Now I would like to extend my volunteerism and begin a non-profit organization that can teach various programming and computer skills to minorities in Oklahoma, specifically to Native American tribal members. There are enough free and open source resources available, but a teaching environment with a leader that is easily accessible is needed. This teaching environment can easily be deployed as an at-home study course. Vocational school training and a university education aren't always an option for everyone. A course that meets weekly, with a solid support system, can train people to be programmers, web developers, and computer repair specialists, equipping them with the skills to obtain certifications and become employable in either a freelance environment or corporate America.