Brookdale student Jason Fomuke has joined an elite group of college students from across the country this fall after being accepted into the National Science Foundation‘s (NSF) Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. Fomuke, of Monroe, will receive a full-ride scholarship for his final year at Brookdale along with a $22,500 stipend and an allowance of up to $9,000 for books, health care expenses and professional development services.
If he successfully completes the program, Fomuke will be eligible to receive a full-ride scholarship at the Stevens Institute of Technology with an additional stipend of $22,500 and a high-level internship as he works to complete his bachelor’s degree. After graduation, he will be able to begin his career as a cybersecurity professional with the federal government.
The SFS program, hosted in New Jersey by the Stevens Institute of Technology, is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in cybersecurity and help recruit the nation’s best and brightest computer science graduates to work as cybersecurity professionals for federal agencies. Brookdale is one of only 15 community colleges in the country to participate in the program.
“This is a very demanding, very important program, and the opportunities it will provide to Jason are huge,” said Brookdale engineering and technology professor Michael Qaissaunee, who is a serving as a campus mentor to Fomuke. “There are projected to be upwards of one million job openings across the globe in cybersecurity in the coming years, and the federal government needs talented people to join their ranks.”
Fomuke, a second-year computer science major carrying a 4.0 GPA, was selected from a pool of Brookdale candidates following a rigorous application process and a site visit to Stevens this fall. Throughout this year he will hone his skills as a “cybersecurity warrior” while engaging in a variety of extracurricular activities, including visiting the AT&T Global Network Operations Center and networking with more than 80 federal employers at the SFS job fair in Washington D.C.
“I’m honored to be selected as an SFS student,” said Fomuke. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get here, and it feels like it paid off. Now I don’t have to worry too much about the financial aspect of my education. I can put all of my energy into my academics, refine my skills and focus on my studying, knowing that everything is covered. It’s a huge relief.”
After developing a passion for cybersecurity work in high school, Fomuke said he is excited now to consider a future which could include work for high-level agencies like the CIA or NSA.
“It almost feels like a movie a little bit, when you think about possibly working for the CIA or an agency like that,” he said. “But it’s really nice to know that you are doing something good for the government and your country, and you get to work at the highest level with people who are all really smart and at the top of their field.”
Fomuke is the second Brookdale student selected to join the SFS program. Manalapan resident Michael Giacona was selected for the program in 2016, and has since graduated from Brookdale and transferred to Stevens. One of only eight SFS students currently studying at Stevens, Giacona has also earned a professional cybersecurity credential and interviewed for an internship with the CIA.
Click here to learn more about the Brookdale/Stevens Scholarships for Service program.
Learn more about Brookdale’s computer science program here.