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Android Scholarships

It was just last week that we launched the Android Basics by Google Nanodegree program, and the response has been incredible.

As part of that launch with Google, we announced that the first 50 students to graduate from Android Basics would receive full scholarships to enroll in our career-track Android Developer program. Since that announcement, the leaderboard where we’re tracking student progress has been … electrifying!

Have you SEEN the leaderboard? It’s been a week, and we’ve already got students who’ve completed their studies and earned their scholarships. Wow!

Just Added: 50 NEW Android Scholarships!

Given how many students have already risen to the challenge, we just made 50 MORE scholarships available! So now, the first 100 Android Basics graduates will earn a full scholarship for Android Developer. All the more reason for you to get in the classroom today, and start working towards YOUR spot on that leaderboard!

We reached out to a couple of the early winners, to try and get a sense of who they are, why they enrolled, and what drove them to work so hard and so fast to master this curriculum, and earn this opportunity. The first person we spoke to, who also happens to hold the #1 spot on the leaderboard, is Steven Abreu. His story is pretty remarkable.

Scholarship winner #1: Steven Abreu

First off, Steven is only 18 years old. He’s currently studying physics, and he’s working part-time as a student employee at a software development company. He currently lives in Karlsruhe, Germany, and will be moving to Bremen soon. He’s recently learned that his real passion is development, so he’s switching majors to Computer Science in the fall. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t actually own an Android device. But, he’s wanted to learn how to develop for Android for quite some time, and as he self-admittedly loves a challenge.

Here’s Steven in his own words:

When I realized that people on the leaderboard were moving up very quickly, I decided not to go into work on Friday, so I could stay home and work on the program. I continued to work on the Nanodegree until I was finished on Sunday. It was pretty close! When I submitted my last project I was tied with the #2 student on the leaderboard at 95%, but in the end I finished first—and I am so happy about it!

To be honest, I didn’t sleep a lot.

Steven credited the quick and helpful feedback he received on his project submissions—and his competitive nature!—as critical factors in his success, and loved that his projects were promptly reviewed even on the weekend. This was especially important given that he had to re-submit two projects. As to what comes next for Steven, he’s ready for the Android Developer Nanodegree program, though he says he plans to take it a little slower this time!

As Steven said:

I really enjoy creating things. An app, in my opinion, is one of the simplest ways to make an impact on so many people—especially since there are over one billion Android devices worldwide! Unlike with creating a company, you don’t need many resources to create value with an app, except for time and commitment.

That really sums it up. Time and commitment equals value and impact.

Scholarship winner #2: Raghav Mangrola

We also connected with Raghav Mangrola, who lives in Southern California. He’s #2 on the leaderboard, and his is a pretty remarkable story too.  Prior to becoming a Udacity student, he was partner and founder of a small business that sold ergonomic cushions. He wore many hats there, including building the company website, posting products to retail sites, and doing online advertising. But this wasn’t his dream. What he really wanted to do was be an iOS developer. So finally, he quit his job, enrolled with Udacity, and began working full-time on his Nanodegree. Now, because of his Android Basics experience, and his new enrollment in the Android Developer program, he is looking forward to being a mobile developer for BOTH platforms. Proof indeed that success comes to those who have dreams!

Throughout his experience, Raghav has been a visible presence in the student community, engaging with other students 1:1 via the Android Basics Slack channel, and posting on the forum. He’s been sending out links to supporting tutorials and resources, and has consistently tried to offer assistance when other students have gotten stuck. We asked Raghav about all the help he’s been providing. Here’s what he had to say:

Learning something new is always difficult, especially if you’re on your own. I didn’t want people to give up just because they hit a roadblock. I’ve done that many times in the past and I’ve always regretted it. When you’re able to help/teach someone it means you have a strong understanding of the subject. Which is why I enjoy teaching someone. Sometimes I don’t have the answer but while searching for the answer I’ve just strengthened my own knowledge.

See you in the classroom, and on the leaderboard!

We offer our congratulations to Steven and Raghav both, and we thank them for sharing their experiences. We also look very forward to congratulating our other winners.

And speaking of which, with the addition of the 50 new scholarships, you CAN do this! See you in the classroom, and on the leaderboard!

Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins is Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer at Udacity. He types on a MacBook or iPad by day, and either an Underwood, Remington, or Royal by night. He carries a Moleskine everywhere.