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Programming a Future

New computer science opportunity gives senior career edge

Jahmel Wint, ’21, arrived on campus unsure what his future held. Now, he’s preparing to graduate Bridgewater State University having found both the right career and the confidence he’ll need to succeed in the computer science field.

“I’m proud that I’m in this major,” said Jahmel, a Dorchester resident who decided to pursue computer science after seeing a friend’s classwork. “It’s opened up a lot of things for me and pushed me.”

One of those opportunities is the Cybersecurity Mentorship Program, an initiative of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s MassCyberCenter. Launched as a pilot last fall, the effort aims to increase diversity in the field by sparking students’ interest and preparing them for careers. 

It comes as BSU enhances its cybersecurity offerings, which include a graduate certificate and an undergraduate minor.

As a mentee during the spring semester, Jahmel is working with cybersecurity consultant Thomas Hart on a project about identifying and responding to threats. He will present his work in May.

“I was honored, but also nervous,” Jahmel said. “I truly feel glad about being partnered with him.”

Jahmel appreciates Hart’s willingness to impart his knowledge on the next generation of professionals.

“This kind of program can be really valuable to give him that networking and experience beyond the classroom,” said Dr. John Santore, one of Jahmel’s computer science professors. “He can put it all together.”

Jahmel also found on-campus mentors such as Santore. He praised his professors’ eagerness to provide guidance and his peers’ encouragement. Their support helped Jahmel complete projects and solve problems he once thought were beyond him.  

“At the beginning I had no knowledge or experience,” he said. “I was surrounded by people with a lot more than me. When I can sit down and do the same things they can, it inspires me that I can do more than I thought.”

Santore looks forward to staying in touch with Jahmel as he becomes established in his career.

“He will be able to bring more of our students along,” Santore said. “In five years, he’s going to be the guy that reaches out to us to say, ‘Do you have another me?’”

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