Activating personal growth through emerging technology.
In 2018, I created The Bannister Foundation, a scholarship program through UGA, that provides laptops to prospective graduates based on their submission of groundbreaking innovation and forward-thinking drive to benefit the future.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
Each semester, the New Media Institute, within the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, hosts an event called SLAM – the Institute’s end-of-semester showcase that celebrates student projects and graduates. During the booth showcase, students walk-through the many facets of their project, allowing attendees to engage with the product, and field any and all questions they may have.
After losing my father in 2016, I was in search of a way to lift my spirits. I had the opportunity to listen to Dave Ramsey speak at my local church, where he spoke about his notorious methods of giving back and the importance of tithing, not only monetarily, but also through personal time and intellectual ways. With the NMI showcase having such a profound effect on me, I was inspired to come up with way that I could give back to my alma matter, following the methods I had heard from Dave Ramsey.
My desire to help students evolved after realizing that I had spent two years at school with my head buried in a computer, studying the skeletal structures of projects that would become the foundation for everything I did in my career. At that time, it was a struggle for me, and many of my peers, to obtain the latest-and-greatest in tools and technology that we were required to master. Well, what if my way of giving back was in providing those tools to prospective graduates? And with that, the Bannister Foundation was born.
Fast forward to the summer of 2018, I reached out to Chris Gerlach to learn how to execute this plan. Joining the efforts of the NMI SLAM showcase, I challenged students to present their capstones projects, asking them to specify the ways this new piece of technology would enable their ability go benefit the future. I was privileged to award Annie Campbell and Christina Conner as the first official winners and recipients of 2 brand new MacBook computers.