FCPS Students Awarded Amazon Future Engineer Scholarships

News Release
June 04, 2021

Abia ZahirAbia Zahir (top photo), a senior at Annandale High School, and Tanisha Tarin (bottom photo), a senior at Westfield High School, have been named two of 100 Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipients. All recipients receive $40,000 to continue their post-secondary education and will be offered a paid internship with Amazon following their freshman year. Recipients were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need. 

Zahir’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) journey started with the fun she had exploring the internet on her father’s computer and continued from there. She was part of Glasgow Middle School’s First and VEX robotics teams and she participated in the Capital One after-school coding program and won an award for “Best Creative App.” Her passion for STEM also compelled her to join the after-school program called the STEM Impressionists where she became a STEM educator. In 2020-21, despite the challenges of the pandemic, she was part of a team of students that created a 10-week Scratch class for students in India.

Tanisha TarinZahir's passion for STEM is so strong that when she ran into men who did not share her vision, she wrote about her experience and was recognized with a $500 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Inclusion Recognition Award. Zahir is truly an advocate for girls in STEM. She will be continuing her computer science studies at Virginia Tech. 

Tarin began her computer science career in 2018 as an intern at Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield, where she helped code interactive Power BI reports to reinvent business intelligence reports at the company. Tanisha helped to design and code the interactive reports, which demonstrated insights regarding data and member population, as well as social determinants for health. She also interned at Tech Company Bench and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. 

Tarin participated in many clubs and activities at Westfield High School, such as track and field, the National Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, the Science Honor Society, the Varsity Math Team, and the Pre-med Club. She will be attending Johns Hopkins University and majoring in computer science.

Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program intended to inspire and educate millions of students globally, including hundreds of thousands of students in the U.S. each year. Students explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems.

Note: Kelly Bonilla from Hayfield Secondary School has previously been recognized as an Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipient.

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For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.