Two Uniondale students awarded The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship

Scholarship awards both students $40,000 each and an internship


Uniondale High School has proudly announced that two of its outstanding students, Cristian Centeno and Christian Auguste, have been selected to receive a generous scholarship of $40,000 each along with a summer internship opportunity at Amazon. This accolade not only recognizes their exceptional talent but also highlights Uniondale's commitment to nurturing excellence in STEM education.

Cristian Centeno and Christian Auguste, both seniors at Uniondale High School, have demonstrated exceptional proficiency in the field of engineering, earning them this prestigious recognition from Amazon. Their dedication and achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring engineers within the Uniondale School District and beyond.

The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship is a highly coveted award bestowed upon students who exhibit exemplary academic prowess in STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines. This scholarship program aims to support students pursuing a bachelor's degree in fields such as computer science, software engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics, and related areas. Recipients of this scholarship embark on a two-year program with plans to transition to a four-year university for further education.

“We are immensely proud of Cristian Centeno and Christian Auguste for their outstanding achievements in the field of engineering,” said Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Superintendent of Uniondale School District. “Their dedication and passion serve as a testament to the high caliber of education and opportunities available at Uniondale High School.”

The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship is not just a financial reward; it represents Amazon's commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity within the tech industry. By investing in talented young minds like Cristian and Christian, Amazon aims to cultivate a more diverse and vibrant community of professionals in the technology sector.

Through the AFE program, Amazon says it’s hoping to help underprivileged kids and underserved communities.

“Computer science skills are some of the most in-demand in the modern economy, and we have created Amazon Future Engineer because we believe young people from all backgrounds should have help from childhood to career so they can have a future in this highly paid, rapidly-growing field,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s then worldwide consumer CEO at the time in a 2018 statement when the program was first announced.

“Among Black and Hispanic students, those who take AP computer science in high school are up to 8 times more likely to take computer science in college,” Wilke said, “and among women, they are 10 times more likely to do so — yet most high schools don’t offer these courses.”

The $40,000 scholarship, divided at $10,000 per year, will provide invaluable financial support to Centeno and Auguste as they pursue their undergraduate degrees in engineering or computer science. Additionally, the opportunity for a summer internship at Amazon will offer them real-world experience and insights into the innovative tech environment at one of the world's leading companies.

Students who aspire to follow in the footsteps of Cristian and Christian can explore the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program by visiting Applications for the next round of scholarships are slated to open in fall 2024, offering aspiring engineers a chance to realize their academic and professional dreams with Amazon's support.

Cristian Centeno and Christian Auguste's remarkable achievement serves as a source of pride for Uniondale High School, showcasing the school's dedication to nurturing talent and excellence in STEM education. Their journey is a testament to the limitless possibilities that await students who are passionate about engineering and technology.

"It felt great to have been awarded this scholarship," he continued. "It means that I was able to effectively communicate my goals for the future and am now being funded to do so. It feels great to have secured this opportunity for my future self. "

Auguste says the scholarship is lifechanging, but it is the internship opportunity that he is most excited about.

"In the computer science world internships are the difference between landing a job and sending hundreds of applications," he said. "I recognize that Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not."

He credits Uniondale, the town that raised him, and his school district for helping both students achieve their goals.

"Uniondale has helped me reach this point in providing a platform for me to demonstrate my talents," said Auguste. "Through Uniondale I have had the chance to showcase my unique skills and my passion for community. I gained the confidence to dream big and that ultimately is what got me to where I am now. "