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My NSBE Experience

2014 National Society of Black Engineers Convention - Nashville, TN

A Personal Reflection

Joshua S.

I have been attending Granville Academy for six years and from as early as I can remember the National Society of Black Engineers Conference was always a topic that, to put it lightly, was constantly raved over, and deservingly—it was simply unbenounced to me at the time. Additionally, from as early as I can recall, I have always known that mathematics and the vast realm of science, frankly, were not my expertise, but rather that I had a passion in my heart for others and the community and world around me. A hyperaware sense of one’s position in the world may draw upon an anomaly, but essentially it just felt right to me. And it was by this notion that the 2014 NSBE Conference in Nashville ultimately helped to adjust my perspective of the matter, my own future, and moreover, to foster a deeper self-understanding.

Admittedly, in the past, NSBE never seemed right to me. It seemed a place that while enriching, would attempt to change my interests, perhaps my views and futher, just a general disengagement with the subject matter in the first place. However, what I discovered proved to be a polar contrast. My intended field of study at the current moment is, and has been, international relations—foreign affairs, global citizenship, languages, history, cross-cultural communication, diplomacy, and stewardship, all in one package. What I failed to realize initially, was just how interconnected this planet of mine was, and how important of a role the STEM field plays in the future, especially in my own current generation, which is now referred to as the “Age of Technology.” And truly, the highly significant role that technology will prove to play in the future, is simply astounding, and not only that, but the global competition that has arisen and will have yet to arise as a result.

Existentially put, what are our each individual purposes? A remote question at best, but nonetheless, a topic constantly on my mind, and increasingly more important not only as a Christian individual, but as a young man preparing to embark on a new chapter in his life, where said questions and values and ideas will inevitably be tested. Although I am nowhere close to the answer, regardless, I take pieces from my own understanding and from those around me, to help paint a portrait of what the future might have in store for me. Part of it, is that Americans may be startled to discover that with Chinas current 1.31 billion total population and rising, Americans, myself included, are gradually being overshadowed. And from a student’s perspective, what that means for our future. The fact that China currently has more honors students, than the United States has students, in the first place may be disheartening and honestly, discouraging. But, in fact, and in retrospect it provides a platform to of motivation to succeed and accomplish to one’s full potential rather than succumb to what not only the world already expects of us, but any that might concur. But rather, to truly live up to one’s God-given potential and to strive to live and work by what is right, however difficult that task may be.

I am truly thankful and will forever be indebted and inspired by the generosity of those that made it possible for me to attend. It not only proved an opportunity to bond with my already-close, Granville family and peers, but to really dig deep and assess my own goals, in terms of college and future career paths. The networking that was made was like no other, and truly I hope I can say, I have left Connecticut and returned a better student and hopefully, a better citizen and person, too. All the skills and all the knowledge and support I have received not only on the trip, but in all my years of Granville Academy have been invaluable. And you will never know how much it has all meant to me, and for that, it has, truly, been a blessing. In that way, I pray that in the future, I will find myself in the position to similarly bestow blessing onto others, and be as inspiring as the professional young men and women just like me I’ve had the honor of meeting, and knowing all these years. And ultimately, I pray that through my actions, they are inspired and find the courage to find it within themselves.

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