They’ll be blazing trails in the STEAM field!
Sidney Berry and Ronnie Burns II are both Florida A&M University (FAMU) students, Black Enterprise reports. Berry, a junior pursuing a career in public relations, and Burns, a sophomore computer science major, were both recently awarded the inaugural EA Madden Scholarship, dedicated to supporting the “educational growth and career development” of HBCU students.
Named for the late iconic sports commentator John Madden, the EA Madden Scholarship is an initiative launched last year as a part of the “John Madden Legacy Commitment,” in partnership with the United Negro College Fund.
“As a coach, as a broadcaster, and in our game - Coach Madden is football for tens of millions of fans…[He] was a lifelong learner and shared our passion for education and creating opportunities for young people in underrepresented communities. We are going to invest in this area to extend John’s legacy and his love of learning by launching the John Madden Legacy Commitment to Education,” Electronic Arts (EA) CEO Andrew Wilson previously said via statement.
This past March, Berry and Burns traveled to the EA headquarters in Orlando, Florida alongside other scholarship recipients to explore where Madden NFL is made and hear from industry professionals about the benefits of a career in STEAM. Both students said they grew up playing the Madden games, Berry calling the experience in Orlando “amazing.”
“It was amazing. I got to network with a lot of people in the field. Since I am already interested in EA as a company, being able to see what they do, I got to see what pathways I can take and what they offer at the company. I got to see a lot of behind-the-scenes and put a lot of things in perspective. It was cool to learn how they do what they do,” she explained.
“You have to go for every opportunity. I learned I can’t sell myself short. The program opened the door for me to meet great people and mentors in the field I want to go into,” added Burns.
Each scholarship recipient was awarded thousands of dollars in funds, Berry alone receiving $8,400. Both students are very grateful for the assistance and the opportunity to learn from a popular company with such a strong foothold in the field. Burns said he hopes that this will inspire others to really take advantage of various opportunities that can help them along their life and career paths.
“It’s reassuring to know you are on the right path. The fact that I was blessed with a scholarship in the computer science gaming field from the people who I was playing their game since I was a kid, it’s near and dear to my heart,” explained Burns.
Congratulations to you both! The sky’s the limit!
Cover photo: FAMU students awarded inaugural EA Madden scholarships/Photo Courtesy of Tallahassee-Thomasville WCTV/FAMU