When he was in high school in Nigeria Kingsley Udeh dreamed of becoming a doctor. He wanted to help people, make a difference.
Then he went to college. “My intention was to study medicine,” he says. “But along the way, I just couldn’t keep up with the demands. It was my uncle who suggested computer science and engineering. He told me, ‘Why don’t you try it?’ When I realized I had an ability for it, I went into it. I changed plans.”
It was a far better fit. Udeh, 35, will receive his master’s in technology management with a concentration in project management. He hopes to use his degree in IT, banking, or engineering.
In the meantime, Udeh has sought out opportunities to use his skills to help others. He developed a software system for the Bridgeport chapter of American Red Cross, for example, that allows the nonprofit to match volunteer opportunities with individuals, based on their skills, availability, and interests.
In March, Google and the Connecticut Small Business Development Center ran a day of workshops and instructional seminars at the University that showed business owners how to build websites so they could get their ventures online. Udeh was among the first to volunteer.
“We helped design and make a website for a woman who owns a boutique in New Haven,” says Udeh. “It was exciting.”
He also worked on developing a website geared to high school and college students that encourages them to test their math and engineering skills by tackling a series of challenges. “People think engineering is too difficult, and we want to build an understanding, especially among domestic students, that it’s not,” says Udeh. “This will be something where they’ll be able to log on to a web-based system and solve problems, and hopefully realize that engineering is not as complicated as they think.”