Courtesy of Yender Gonzalez

Bellevue College (BC) students will get more opportunities to earn Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications and pursue internships and employment with AWS customers and partners under a new collaboration announced this week between the Bellevue College Foundation and Amazon.

Amazon also is providing $100,000 for student scholarships and emergency aid when unforeseen circumstances arise requiring nontuition support, the college said in a news release. The foundation’s safety net program allows students to continue their studies without disruption.  

As an AWS Academy member institution, BC receives a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students to pursue industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs, the release said. It added that cloud computing skills training offers an opportunity for workers to reskill and reenter the workforce. 

“For years, AWS has been a great supporter of the college,” Rebecca Chawgo, interim vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the Bellevue College Foundation, said in the release. “They’ve been active in our career fairs, provided AWS credits to our Bachelor of Computer Science, Institute of Business and Information Technology, and Continuing Education programs, and many Amazon employees have served on professional and technical advisory boards to help shape curriculum. We’re thrilled at this deeper level of holistic engagement, and know that both our students, and community, will greatly benefit.” 

Pearl Leung, Amazon’s senior manager for external affairs in Bellevue, said the donation is part of the company’s efforts to inspire and increase access to computer science and STEM education.

“We are committed to ensuring all learners, especially those from underrepresented communities, have the resources and skills they need to pursue in-demand tech jobs,” Leung said. 

Amazon’s gift will provide scholarships for 30 students pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees and will replenish the foundation’s emergency aid fund for students that was depleted during the pandemic. Students can apply for the new scholarships during the foundation’s application process that opens in January 2022. 

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