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Charter Alumni Spotlight: KeJuan Farrell-Bey

April 08, 2021

Charter Alumni Spotlight: KeJuan Farrell-Bey

Each month, the GVSU Charter Schools Office spotlights a current GVSU student who attended and/or graduated from a GVSU-authorized charter public school.

This month, we are pleased to introduce you to KeJuan Farrell-Bey. KeJuan is in his third year at GVSU where he is majoring in Computer Engineering. Outside of his classes, KeJuan is a part of the National Society of Black Engineers, where he has been a member since he was in 7th grade.

Prior to coming to GVSU, KeJuan attended two GVSU-authorized charter public schools, University Prep Science and Math (UPSM) Middle School and UPSM High School.

KeJuan recently took some time to share a little more about how his experience at his charter public schools and at GVSU have shaped where he is at today.

What did you like most about your charter high school ?

Growing up, I was always someone that asked, “How does this work?” I was always taking stuff apart and putting it back together. I liked UPSM because it was a STEM-oriented school. I was a part of the UPSM schools since middle school, and through the courses and the school environment you learn to think like an engineer.

How do you think your charter high school helped prepare you for life after you graduated?

It really propelled me to where I am today. There were a lot of clubs that directly pertained to my major, like First Robotics, a drone club, and more. Being in those clubs helped me understand how to talk to others about the concepts we were working on and make our projects successful as a whole.

What’s some advice you’d give to current UPSM students who are preparing for life after graduation?

Talk to your counselors. Become best friends with them and listen to their advice. Start doing that early on when you reach high school so you have more time to change your mind and explore various ideas for next steps after you leave. It’s really important to have that connection for guidance.

When did you first learn about GVSU? What was appealing about it to you?

I first learned about GVSU in 10th or 11th grade, through school trips, and by attending College Prep Week in the summer. I enjoyed the atmosphere of campus because everybody has such a positive attitude. I also liked the mandatory co-op that is part of my major, where I’ll work for a company while I’m still in school to get an extra bit of experience in the field.

How has GVSU helped you grow?

It’s helped me grow in terms of collaboration. There is a diverse student base, which makes it very important to learn how to work with others. All that time spent working in group projects has furthered my understanding of my major and helped me improve my technical and personal skills.

How has GVSU helped you move closer to your career and personal goals?

The smaller classes sizes lead to 1-on-1 learning opportunities with my professors. That’s been really helpful because sometimes I need the extra time for them to guide me through our content in a way that is unique to me so I can understand it. Because they are open to that kind of support, I know I could go to them each day and get additional instruction.

What are some goals you want to accomplish once you graduate?

I want to get a stable job. Most people work for the companies where they complete their co-op, so I’ll probably do that and then move somewhere in the country where the tech industry is becoming more prominent.

Any final thoughts you’d like to add?

To go back to advice I’d give others, I’d encourage others to go into college for whatever interests you and to keep discovering what you want to learn. Don’t be afraid of it or any changes that may come along the way.

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Page last modified April 8, 2021