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USM siblings excel as Amazon Future Engineer scholars

University Communications
Samuel Hill (l) and Micah Hill (r)

The Hill family’s steady support and strong sense of inspiration has played an essential role in shaping the academic journeys of Micah Hill and Samuel Hill. Now thriving in technology at Southern Miss, these siblings are living testaments to the profound impact of familial influence and the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship.
Micah is pursuing her studies in information technology as a freshman, while her older brother Samuel, a driven junior, focuses on cybersecurity. Although their paths in technology differ, a shared family commitment to education and the invaluable support of the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship unites their academic pursuits. Their familial circle, consisting of two older brothers and parents, James and Alicia Hill, places tremendous value on education, serving as early role models for their children.
“I’d have to say it was Samuel who probably was more passionate about technology at first,” Micah shared with a smile. “And then I kind of just, being the little sister, was like, I can do it too.”
This competitive spirit and solid mutual support have propelled the Hills to excel in their chosen fields. Yet, the influence doesn’t stop at home. The Hill family’s close-knit community of friends has also played an instrumental role in shaping Micah and Samuel’s STEM aspirations.
Rebecca Hooper serves as an inspiration to Micah. As a black woman in STEM, Micah looks up to her as someone who defied stereotypes and excelled in a field where diversity sometimes falls short.
“I didn’t see a lot of black women in STEM, so she’s definitely served as an inspiration to me to let me know that I can achieve in this field,” Micah said.
On the other hand, Samuel attributes much of his early inspiration to his parents, who encouraged his participation in robotics camps.
“I believe it was more so my parents, who were my general inspiration,” Samuel explained. “I was placed into a lot of robotics camps early on, and I believe that really stemmed a lot of my love.”
Samuel’s passion for computer science found its roots during a summer camp at Cal Poly, where he delved into chemistry and robotics, setting him on a lifelong path in STEM.
One significant moment in Samuel’s journey occurred when he competed in a robotics competition at the age of four. This early exposure laid the foundation for his career in technology, extending beyond his studies as he began teaching kids how to code and build robots in his first job. And his enthusiasm for technology underscored his personal pursuits and his dedication to supporting his younger sister’s journey.
“I really wanted her to have her own passion, but if it was for CS, I would help her every step of the way,” Samuel said.
His steadfast support remains a driving force in Micah’s pursuit of a career in information technology.
As Micah and Samuel continue their academic journeys at USM, their family’s influence remains an enduring source of motivation and strength, bolstered by the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship. The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering, renowned for its distinguished faculty and cutting-edge programs, has provided a nurturing environment for their growth. The dedicated faculty at USM’s School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering have mentored and guided these promising students, nurturing their passion for technology and furnishing them with the knowledge and skills required to excel in their respective fields.
Micah and Samuel have been recipients of the prestigious Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship, which has not only alleviated the financial burden of their education but also ushered them into a world of opportunities in the tech industry. This transformative scholarship has played a pivotal role in their academic journeys. Beyond the financial assistance, which eases tuition costs, the scholarship grants them invaluable opportunities.
Samuel underscores the significance of the scholarship by emphasizing that it not only provides substantial financial support – $10,000 per year for four years, amounting to an impressive $40,000 for their education – but also opens doors to internships. This internship opportunity is essential as it allows them to gain real-world work experience from their freshman year. The fusion of financial support and practical experience has not only made their college education more accessible but has also enhanced their competitiveness in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
Samuel offers valuable advice to aspiring scholars aiming to secure the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship, encouraging them to be authentic and passionate. He advises future applicants to “be real” and “forthcoming about what you need.” Samuel emphasizes the importance of expressing one’s skills and demonstrating how they can benefit a company like Amazon. Furthermore, he urges aspiring scholars to envision their dreams and goals, stating, “What are your dreams? If you had a blank check, what would you do with it and deliver it in 90 seconds? That’s the mentality you need to have to thrive in the industry.”
The Hill siblings are not merely scholars; they embody the adage, “It takes a village.” Their village, characterized by firm encouragement and a fervent passion for education, propels them towards a future with limitless technological possibilities.

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