Arron Edgecombe thriving at UofM
College opens doors that high school doesn’t, and it’s those college years that can change a person and shape them in ways they might not imagine, but there is also always a transition period from high school learning to college learning that everyone has to go through – and that transition was no different for the country’s 2018 All Bahamas Merit Scholar (ABMS).
Arron Edgecombe, 18, is a second semester freshman at the University of Miami where he’s studying electrical engineering. Edgecombe says the transition for him was hard at first owing to the different curriculum, from a Bahamian system to an American system and the way math and physics is taught.
“In transitioning over the course of last semester, I figured out the key to success is just hard work, regardless if the learning is a little different, and I just continued to work hard and was able to get good grades and the grades that I’m used to.”
At the end of his first semester, Edgecombe had straight A’s and a perfect 4.00 first semester grade point average (GPA) to be named to the president’s list.
“It was just an adjustment, but I did end up with the same types of scores that I’m used to in the end.”
The former Queen’s College deputy head boy graduated high school with a 3.95 (GPA) and achieved 1,460 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
Having not studied engineering in high school, he said he found that a little difficult at first as well.
“It was a little rough at first having to start from scratch, learning how to program, or draw graphics on AutoCAD, but once I sat down and studied and decided to take in the material and really get myself to understand it I was fine.”
He’s also found that intro to engineering was one of those subjects he really liked.
“The first semester was just getting me to learn how to program which was something I had never done before and then use graphics in AutoCAD to draw shapes and figures. And this semester we’re learning more about electricity and computer engineering like making robots. At the end of the semester we’re supposed to design a robot, and we’re having a robot competition so I’m excited for that – to learn how to do that,” he said.
Edgecombe, the son of Adrian and Tiffany Edgecombe is also able to focus on his education without financial stressors. As the ABMS he’s the recipient of a prestigious scholarship valued at $35,000 per annum for up to four years valued at $140,000. With an engineering course of study, he receives an extra year making his scholarship total $175,000.
He also received a presidential scholarship for international students from UofM valued at $20,000; along with a $38,000 grant for international students for an additional $58,000 in scholarship money per year to go with his ABMS award, which means his college education is literally free. Edgecombe doesn’t pay anything, any year that he’s at the school.
Edgecombe’s advice to graduating seniors preparing to head off to college in the fall is to always remember where they stand, to give God thanks for everything he has done for them, to look to him in everything they do, and to just continue to work hard.
“Even if you don’t understand, you can always talk to professors during their office hours, but just continue to work hard and study. There are a lot of people in college who come here and don’t study because they’re just looking to have a fun time. But if you put in more work, you will be able to succeed.”
And like most college students he’s enjoying his ability to make his own decisions – to decide when to do work and study, and when he chooses to take a break; and how he chooses to spend his free time.
When he has free time, he and his friends love to head to downtown Miami, or take in a movie. But he says they really enjoy playing basketball in the gym the most which he says is the most fun part of college for him.
Of all his extracurricular activities, Edgecombe says the highlight for him has been joining his college’s a capella group, BisCaydence. They are currently in the trenches trying to earn a spot in the 23rd ICCA season finalArron .
BisCaydence finished second in the quarterfinals to move on to the semis which will be held in two weeks. If BisCaydence wins, they move on to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella Finals in New York.
“That’s something I’m really excited about, so hopefully we can get to go to New York,” said Edgecombe who sang at home but had not been exposed to a capella before college. When he got there and found out about the group he decided to try out and got in.
This year, over 6,400 performers in 425 groups representing over 240 different colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom comprised the competition.
The tournament structure includes nine regions – Central, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, South, West and the United Kingdom. All regions have quarterfinal rounds where the top two groups from each quarterfinal move on to the regional semifinal. The top group from each semifinal advances to the ICCA Finals at the PlayStation Theater in New York City.
Edgecombe is no stranger to balancing academics with extracurriculars. He was quite active in high school, and his church (Bahamas Harvest) communities. He served as president of QC5000, a club started by students to feed the homeless, a member of the school choir, the debating society and the Student Christian Movement (SCM). He served as praise team leader at his church and earned a bronze and silver medal in the Governor General’s Youth Award. He was also a member of the Spirit of Excellence Track and Field Club.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.