Greg Gates, CS Junior, Wins Phi Beta Delta Speech Contest

Publish Date: 12/17/2010

Greg Gates won first place in the U.S. undergraduate category in Phi Beta Delta’s International Experiences Speech Contest. The contest was hosted on November 15, 2010,  by Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society as part of International Education Week.  This year’s theme was "Challenges and Successes: International experiences that have changed your outlook on life." This contest was open to all Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni.   Greg’s talk was entitled “America: The Streets Aren’t Paved With Gold, but We Do Have Washing Machines.”

Greg provided this abstract:

“I was awarded a grant in the summer of 2009 to take 100 of the ‘One Laptop Per Child’ computers to a small, impoverished town in Kenya called Kibwezi and teach primary school students (grades 1 – 7) how to use a computer. One of my most important goals before going to the school in Kenya was to set up a server so that the students could eventually access the internet (once the internet made its way to Kibwezi). I was unfortunately unsuccessful, despite making a day trip into Mombasa in an attempt to get supplies, and I was disappointed in myself for not accomplishing what I saw as an important goal. However, a discussion with an older student later on in the week would surprise me and make me shift my priorities. This student helped me come to the realization that what I think is important when helping someone is rarely ever important.”

Congratulations to Greg!

More pictures from his travel to Kenya follow: