Sean Medlin: A ‘Grow with Google Developer Scholarship’ Success Story

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This deserving scholarship recipient overcame incredible odds to earn this opportunity, and he’s now on the path to achieving a career dream he’s harbored since childhood!

Sean Medlin - Grow With Google - Scholarship - Udacity - Student Success

Sean Medlin is a young man, but he’s already experienced a great deal of hardship in his life. He’s had to overcome the kinds of obstacles that too often stop people’s dreams in their tracks, but he’s never given up. Sustained by a lifelong love for computers, an unshakeable vision for his future, and a fierce commitment to learning, Sean has steadfastly pursued his life and career goals. He’s done so against the odds, often without knowing whether anything would pan out.

Today, Sean Medlin is a Grow with Google Developer Scholarship recipient, on active duty in the US Air Force, with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree. He’s married to a woman he says is “the best in the world” and he’s just become a father for the second time. It’s been a long journey for a boy who lost his sister to cancer before he’d reached adulthood, and whose official education record listed him as having never made it past the eighth grade.  

But Sean keeps finding a way forward.  

The experience of getting to know people like Sean is almost too powerful to describe, but experiences like these are at the heart of why the Grow with Google Developer Scholarship is such an impactful initiative for us. It’s one thing to read the numbers at a high level, and feel joy and amazement that literally thousands of deserving learners have been able to advance their lives and careers through the scholarship opportunities they’ve earned. However, it’s an entirely different experience to witness the transformative power of opportunity at the individual, human level. One person. Their life. Their dreams. Their challenges, and their successes.

It’s our pleasure and our honor to introduce you to Sean Medlin, and to share his story.

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Introducing the PyTorch Scholarship Challenge from Facebook

Build deep learning models today.

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UPDATE: This scholarship program has ended.

Earn a scholarship from Facebook and Udacity, and learn how to build, train, and deploy state-of-the-art deep learning models with PyTorch. Apply today!

PyTorch Scholarship Challenge from Facebook - Udacity

Today, we’re pleased to share details of our newest offering to rapidly expand students’ machine learning skills —the PyTorch Scholarship Challenge from Facebook.

PyTorch is an open source deep learning framework that’s quickly become popular with AI researchers for its ease of use, clean Pythonic API, and flexibility. With the preview release of PyTorch 1.0, developers can now seamlessly move from exploration to production deployment using a single, unified framework.

This new scholarship program, announced today at the PyTorch Developer Conference, offers participants the opportunity to acquire cutting-edge skills in deep learning using PyTorch, and earn a full scholarship to Udacity’s Deep Learning Nanodegree program.

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The Google Developer Scholarship and the Power of Community

Find the right nanodegree program for you.
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Earlier this year, Udacity and Google announced the Google Developer Scholarship for students across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. On offer was the chance to land a scholarship for Udacity’s Android Basics, Android Developer, Mobile Web Specialist, or Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree programs.

It was an incredibly popular announcement that led to 60,000 scholarship recipients gaining the opportunity to take part in the first Challenge Course phase of the program. There, they started learning the latest programming skills and building their own projects. Then, in the second phase, 6,000 of the top performers earned the opportunity to undertake a full Nanodegree program.

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5 Amazing Student Success Stories from India

Each of these 5 students earned a scholarship from Google and Udacity, and they’ve used their opportunities to achieve incredible things in their lives and their careers.

Student Success - Udacity - Google India Scholarships

Back in 2017, Google Scholarships launched in India with a mission to help 30,000 students pursue their dreams of venturing into mobile and web development. Today, so many exceptional students have earned new opportunities for themselves through the Udacity-Google Scholarship program. Their stories are amazing, and we share five of them with you here.

A number of Udacity scholarships are available for a variety of technology subjects. Find a scholarship that fits you.

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Suparna Dey

Suparna - Udacity - 2Suparna is from West Bengal, India. She is the eldest of three children, and today, she is a mother herself, with a 4-year-old son. She comes from a background in which female education is considered sinful, and Suparna had to overcome incredible obstacles in order to complete her formal education. She had to face the objections of her family, and challenge repressive societal expectations, in order to create an independent identity for herself. But she persevered, and after completing her Master’s, Suparna found a life partner who supported her goals and ambitions. In 2016 however, her son fell critically ill, and she stopped working in order to care for him. Returning to the workforce was difficult—technology moves so fast, and she didn’t know how to fit back into the job market. But as a Google Developer Scholarship recipient, she is now engaged in an intensive learning program, and looking forward to using her new skills not just in her own life, but to uplift others in situations similar to what she’s had to overcome.

Surondesh Daulagupu

Surondesh - Udacity - 2Surondesh Daulagupu comes from a small town in Assam called Langting. By the time he reached the 11th grade, his life was already on a troublesome path. He had addiction problems, and he failed his 12th board exams. There was no going back to fix the problems he’d caused for himself, and with a poor scorecard, there were no opportunities ahead for him to get into a good undergraduate college. Things could have gotten much worse, but instead, Surondesh had an epiphany—he realized he needed to break free once and for all from his past, and from his problems. He committed to learning on his own, and started studying Android development with Udacity. As he learned new skills, his confidence grew. He decided to try and earn a Google Developer Scholarship, and was successful! Today, he is honing his Android developer skills, and looking forward to landing a good job. Genuine transformation isn’t easy, but Surondesh shows us it’s possible.

Start developing Android apps in just 3 months with our Android Basics nanodegree program.

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Rajani M

Rajani - UdacityThere are so many amazing learners in the Google Developer Scholarship program, but Rajani stands out. She is the oldest person to earn one of these opportunities, and is a true inspiration. After her father’s death, Rajani had to financially support her mother. She worked hard, but she wanted to start a family herself, and becoming a mother meant consequences for her career. She knew though, that she would return to work one day, and In 2016, she decided it was time to restart her career as a developer. It was challenging, but she was determined. Unfortunately however, within just two weeks, she began to suffer debilitating back pain that prevented her from sitting, standing, or traveling. She was confined to bed, and once again, her career journey came to a halt. Despite the setbacks, her spirit remained strong, and when opportunity in the form of a Udacity Google Scholarship came along, she seized it, as a means to advance her career without sabotaging her health. Today, she’s an Android expert, with a new lease on life.

Become an Android Developer.

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Ruhan Khandaker  

Ruhan - UdacityRuhan was never able to attend college—obligations to his family prevented that. He had no technical background, and no formal degree. But that wasn’t going to stop Ruhan. He believed in himself, and was determined to find a way to build a technology career for himself. It was this fierce determination that led him to Udacity, where he began building his foundational skills in Python programming. He loved what he was learning, and kept his eyes out for new opportunities. When he learned about the Google Developer Scholarship, he recognized the chance to take a significant step forward on his journey. Today, Ruhan is already in Phase 2 of the scholarship program. And not only is he learning new skills, he’s helping others in the scholarship community progress through their studies!

Develop your Python skills with our Programming for Data Science with Python nanodegree program.

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Piyush Kant Maav

Piyush - UdacityPiyush always knew he wanted to be a coder, but it seemed an unlikely goal. His father worked in a local garment shop as a salesman, making just enough to feed the family. But Piyush was undaunted. He believed he had what it takes, and that there were opportunities for him out there somewhere. He started learning basic programming skills online in a local cybercafé. He was a quick study, and launched his first website when he was in Class 10th. He had high hopes as far as getting into a great college, but an unforeseen family crisis depleted what little money they had, and Piyush had to settle for a local engineering college. He was able to learn a bit more, but quickly ran short on the resources he really needed to advance his skills. When he discovered the Google Developer Scholarship, he knew it was the chance he’d been dreaming of. Since earning the scholarship, his work ethic has impressed everyone, and he has earned a reputation as being one of this most active contributors in the Front-End Developer track of the Google Scholarship.

Become a front-end developer in 4 months.

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It is such an honor to be a part of the wonderful journeys our students have embarked upon. The Google Developer Scholarship is more than just a scholarship—it is a means for people to achieve their dreams, regardless of their backgrounds. With their passion, perseverance, and determination, these lifelong learners prove that success is possible when you face your fears, follow through on your goals, refuse to give up. Congratulations to all!   

From I/O 2018 to Udacity, Grow with Google Scholars take an amazing trip!

Grow with Google scholars at Udacity HQ
Google Scholars meet with other Udacity students at Udacity HQ

Last week, 12 Udacity students got the opportunity of a lifetime. Google flew them out to Google I/O in California as recognition for their amazing work in the Grow with Google initiative’s Developer Scholarship Challenge! This massive three-day event is Google’s flagship annual developer conference, famous for its announcements of incredible new technology, and a unique chance to network with the tech industry’s movers and shakers.

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Passion, Determination, and Opportunity

This Google Developer Scholarship recipient challenged convention, embarked on a new career journey, and built a new life for herself and her family!

Udacity - Google - Developer - Scholarship

If you’re of working age, then you’ve probably heard the question before: “So, what do you do for a living?” There was a time when, for most working people, this was pretty easy to answer. But in a changing world informed with increasingly rapid change, this has become a more complicated question.

For a long time, our world was one in which “conventional” backgrounds were the overwhelming norm. But over the course of several decades, we’ve witnessed the emergence of “unconventional” paths to success. These increasing viability of these paths has been both exciting, and necessary. “Convention” has too often equated to a rarefied educational pedigree available only to a small percentage of the population that are either born to it, or can afford it.

Coming from an “unconventional” background isn’t always easy, and there is still progress to be made as we pursue a genuinely inclusive world. Today, we’re hopefully approaching a future in which the binary of conventional vs. unconventional no longer prevails—a world in which multiple varieties of education and training can be considered “legitimate.”

Initiatives such as Google and Udacity’s Developer Scholarship are providing well-deserved opportunities for career advancement to lifelong learners who have experienced firsthand what it means to come from “unconventional” backgrounds. These individuals—through their skills, dedication, and grit—have persevered, and built rewarding lives and careers for themselves, even as they’ve had to continually explain and justify their seemingly unorthodox career paths to recruiters and hiring managers—not to mention friends and family!

Anne-Christine is one such remarkable individual.

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International Women’s Day 2018: 5 Women, 5 Stories

International Women's Day - Udacity - Hero

Udacity is honored to support women across the globe empowering themselves through learning, and we join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day! Today, we share the stories of five exceptional women who have mastered new skills, and advanced their lives and careers.

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