I just think it’s important to celebrate and raise up when our folks beat the odds and assumptions about what we’re capable of. In past challenges, students from places like Harvard and MIT won this technical challenge. Check out the hotness:

AT&T is pleased to announce that Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller of Spelman College, a historically black liberal arts college for women, have won the 2010 AT&T Big Mobile on Campus ChallengeSM with their next generation e-learning mobile application, HBCU Buddy.

HBCU Buddy is a mobile application created to educate and inform users, including both prospective and current college students, about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) across the United States. It is a fully-fledged mobile service application that provides detailed information about each and every HBCU in the nation and integrates all facets of college life.

The application opens with a directory profiling each HBCU with information on academics, admissions, research, student life, alumni, among other details. After selecting a school, students can navigate through the school – literally – by accessing virtual tours of buildings, on-campus videos, and local GPS and directions.

HBCU Buddy can also provide students with customizable social networking features to connect with each other, their school and community. The application connects to social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and integrates tools such as chat and calendar to help students stay informed. Students can use the application to follow the latest on school club and campus happenings, local events, hot spots around the community, and more.

Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller were recognized and awarded a $10,000 scholarship (divided between them) and a mobile device of their choice each at the Higher Ed Board of Advisors Meeting in Miami, Florida, on October 7, 2010.

The President has been keen to foster stronger STEM education for all American students (science, tech, engineering and math) because the jobs of the future will require strong skills in these disciplines. Did you know that there’s a Chinese telecom company entering the U.S. market and they got 8,000 engineers working in one research and development facility in Shanghai? 8000! Where in the U.S. have we got 8000 engineers working on anything except for maybe Google? We continue to lose economic ground to foreign competitors and we need to turn this around to make sure our kids have bright futures in a prosperous nation.

Jonecia and Jazmine are living proof that innovation is not the exclusive domain of the white male geek. There are plenty of us black geeks out there too who need a little more support. Congrats to J and J — you deserve the recognition and that new iPad or iPhone.

Many thanks to Corey Ealons, formerly Dir of African-American Media Outreach at the White House for hippin’ me to this inspiring story…

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