High School Innovator of the Year Winner: Remington M., Penn Valley, Calif.

The $5,000 High School Innovator of the Year scholarship looked for a student who invented a new product or concept that made an impact on their fellow students and community. Remington M. of Penn Valley, Calif., was selected as the 2011 winner for creating “Put Me in Coach Dugout Chart,” a computer program that allows baseball and Little League coaches to organize, edit and communicate players’ positions for each inning.

Remington got the idea for the program when her father, a Little League coach, mentioned that his players were often confused when their positions were substituted or changed. Determined to find a solution, Maxwell actually taught herself the computer coding skills necessary to create a team positioning program. After three years of research and testing, the “Put Me in Coach Dugout Chart” was complete. Her father soon came to rely on this tool at every game.

Now, with a computer science career in mind, Remington shares some insight with Cappex about her experience with the college and scholarship search as well as her innovation.

Check out what she says:

You taught yourself computer coding skills in order to develop the “Put Me in Coach Dugout Chart.” How did you go about teaching yourself and how do you use that same self-starter motivation in the classroom?

When I decided to write the “Put Me In Coach Dugout Chart” I approached it just like anything I am new at learning.  I went to the library and checked out books that were about basic coding techniques as well as researched information on the internet about computer programming.  After I had a basic understanding of writing code, I began to write the code for the program.  Through continuous trial and error I was able to see what code would and wouldn’t work.  Sometimes I would need to write the code for something and didn’t have a clue where to begin.  In these cases, I asked for advice on a blog.  I also found that just stepping away from the project and letting ideas roll around in my head was beneficial.  It was a firm belief in myself and my ability to accomplish anything that developed the final product.

I use this motivation in my classes as well.  If I don’t understand a concept, I will go to the teacher for help.  When the teacher still can’t explain something to me, I then set out to learn it on my own.  I usually use the internet to find websites that will explain what I do not understand.  From the information available to me, I think about what it is I am trying to learn until I have a full understanding of it.  In this way, I not only understand what I was supposed to learn in the classroom, but also have a deeper comprehension of the reasoning behind the material.  I know that I can learn anything I set my mind to and this motivation drives my work ethic in my classes.

Where do you see yourself after college graduation?

After college graduation I see myself working at a business that primarily focuses on computer technology.  With a degree in computer science, I hope to use the world of computer technology to make the lives of others easier and more entertaining.  This includes possibly writing computer programs or using computer graphics to deliver exciting movies to the public.

What has been the most unexpected thing you’ve learned from taking a risk and getting creative?

The most unexpected thing I have learned from taking a risk and getting creative is how just a little bit of creativity can create a whole new original masterpiece unlike any other.  Without taking a risk, a person limits his/herself.  Risks can turn out badly, but on the other hand, they can be extraordinary.  If someone truly wants to try something new, a risk may turn out to be worth it.

If you could offer a younger student one piece of advice for the college and scholarship search, what you would say?

There are many colleges and scholarship opportunities in the United States. The best way to find the ideal ones for you are to use your resources. Ask your parents, teachers, and friends who are in college for any help that they can offer you. Find reliable college and scholarship search engines and go on websites for businesses to see if they offer scholarships. Do not self-eliminate when it comes to applying to colleges and schools. If you truly believe in yourself, believe that others will too.

How will this scholarship help fulfill your dreams?

This scholarship will have a major impact on my ability to achieve my dreams. Since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of going to college and seeing a different world outside of my community. Now I no longer just want to see a new city, but achieve a degree in computer science. With a degree in computer science I hope to help make others’ lives easier through the use of computer technology. Technology is such an important part of our society today and I truly believe that it can help others. This scholarship will put me well on my way to achieving my goal of helping people by allowing me the opportunity to attend college.

You can discover more scholarships from Cappex and beyond. Simply visit Cappex.com. And thanks again to Kaileigh for sharing her college and scholarship tips!

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