Udacity and Google gave me an unforgettable opportunity that I never thought imaginable

In late December I had received the information that Google would be awarding 50,000 Developer scholarships. After going onto the Udacity website and reading the information. I had quickly realized there were only 3 days left before the deadline for applications. Something just prompted me to go for it, fill out the application. My thought was I have a 50/50 chance of acceptance.

A few months had passed and the date arrived for the announcement of the winners of the Grow with Google challenge course. My email hadn’t arrived. I began to see others posting on social media their letters congratulating them on them on their acceptance. Honestly, I was excited for each individual that had made it into the program. Midnight neared and I checked the email one more time, yet again nothing. Awaking in the morning I checked one more time. There it was the “golden ticket”.

Scholarship Announcement

Next the anxiety set in because I had absolutely “NO” coding experience. I started to wonder if it would even be possible for me to grasp the material. I quickly started the course, spending every possible minute working on quizzes and watching tutorials. If I didn’t understand a concept I would search over and over until I found a resource that made it easier for me to retain the information. I finished the challenge course ahead of schedule and patiently waited for the next announcement of whom had made it into the Nanodegree program.

A few weeks had passed the announcements started to roll out. I’m getting nervous this time only 1,500 for the Android Basics. I remind myself that I worked really hard and am very proud of what I had accomplished. Even if I don’t make the cut it was all worth every moment. As I’m remaining positive the email arrives, I have made it into the Android Basics Nanodegree program. A sigh of relief and back to the course material.

I pushed even harder knocking out the first 5 projects in under a month.

1.) Single Screen App

2.) Score Keeper App

3.) Quiz App

4.) Musical Structure App

5.) Tour Guide App

Preparing for vacation and summer break. I set a goal of having these completed and submitted before a trip to Japan. Ensuring that I wouldn’t get behind. Every week I’d set a goal and aim for that result.

Events

The first Grow with Google event that I had attend was in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the beginning of instant connection with what I call the “Udacity and Google Family”. I had the pleasure of spending time with one of the community managers of the scholarship program. She is one of our “Superheroes” because the community managers devote an incredible amount of time toward each of the students. They are what binds us together. I can not thank each of them enough for what they do daily.

Next I had gone to a Grow With Google event in Cleveland, Ohio. At this event met someone who had gave me great advice and encouraged me to continue with my Android Developer path. He suggested that I set a goal of becoming a Google Associate Android Developer . This is what I am working toward. Words couldn’t express the amount of appreciation I have for what followed that encounter.

Unforgettable Moment

Arriving in Japan was already a dream come true. Standing outside the Roppongi Hills building looking up, knowing that I would soon step foot inside the building. My heart was pounding and I was nervous.

My visit to Google Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

The program has allowed so many wonderful opportunities. One of the most memorable has been a tour of Roppongi Hills building Google Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Maybe someday I’ll return again.

Google Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan

My final thoughts

I would definitely recommend taking a Nanodegree course. The amount of support and encouragement that you receive is phenomenal. Reach out ask questions. This is how we all grow together and help each other. Often I refer to the “Udacity and Google community as one big family. You can reach out online or travel almost anywhere and find someone that is there with a smile and helping hand”.

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