Always interested in math, Jeff worked hard to strengthen his skills while he was enrolled in gifted classes at his home high school. After visiting LSMSA while attending ADVANCE camp, Jeff and his family made the decision that this was where he needed to spend his final years of high school.
Jeff jumped headfirst into LSMSA’s math curriculum while also delving into computer programming, particularly enjoying classes with Dr. Sanjeetha Peters and Dr. Everett McCoy, and taking advantage of all the computer science classes he could.
Since dorm rooms didn’t have internet or phones at the time, Jeff’s natural solution was to create a makeshift network that allowed him and his friends to play video games at night. But his love for being academically challenged and socializing with friends didn’t come without the lessons that accompany the school’s unique living/learning environment.
“LSMSA taught me that I had to take personal responsibility for my actions since I was living away from my parents,” recalls Jeff. “Thankfully, I was able to learn this type of self-discipline in high school rather than college.”
After Jeff’s life-changing discovery of computers as a discipline, he received a full scholarship to Texas A&M through the generosity of his hometown best friend's grandparents.
“I learned philanthropy from Willy F. Bohlmann, Jr. and Mildred Bohlmann,” explains Jeff. “Willy was one of the hardest working men I've ever met – a fantastic human being, mentor to many, and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a Free Mason, a major contributor to Texas A&M, a Colonel in the National Guard, and the President of Esso China, Limited (Exxon in China) following his massive discovery and exploration of oil in the South China Sea in the late 70s and early 80s.”
With a career including software engineering at Google and Pinterest, Jeff is currently a Staff Research Scientist at Meta and will soon move on to leading quality for Apple’s Siri product. His education at LSMSA and the Bohlmanns’ spirit of philanthropy changed the course of Jeff’s life so much that he gives back to LSMSA today as a 1983 Society member and began a $25,000 scholarship for LSMSA students who want to study computer science at Texas A&M.
“I strongly believe in the importance of computer science,” says Jeff. “Today, the United States cannot begin to fill our vacancies, even with the influx of those coming to work in the industry internationally. Training is so important, and I want to do my part to help with that.”
Jeff encourages fellow LSMSA alumni to give back, reminding us that while an education at LSMSA is tuition-free, it’s not completely free.
“Thanks to Louisiana’s taxpayers, many of us have gone on to achieve great success. Someone else sacrificed to give us what we had, so now it’s incumbent on us to give back and help the next generation,” says Jeff. “Education gives us social mobility, so what better time of someone’s life to invest in them? By giving back to LSMSA, we’re not just helping students today or this year – we’re helping these future Eagles soar throughout their whole lives.”