My Ashford | Feeding the Hungry at the Next Tech Level
We live in a world where there is more than enough food to feed all 7.6 billion people, and yet statistics show that 870 million people go hungry every year. This subject cuts to the heart of Kyla Juniel, a Forbes School of Business & Technology™ graduate in the BA in Business Information Systems degree program. Like many Ashford University students, Kyla has a family and works while pursuing her educational goals. In addition to being a diligent student, she is the parent of an active six-year-old and an Information Technology professional with Cox Automotive.
Here, program chair Dr. Karen Ivy summarizes Kyla’s passion, education, and plan to attack world hunger through technology.
What Are You Passionate About?
Following your passion is important. Kyla shared her passion to support the hungry and others impacted by food insecurity and food deserts. She lives in Atlanta where many children are unsure of where their next meal will come from and several families don’t have the opportunity to go grocery shopping easily. For these families, shopping at stores with fresh produce or basic healthy options is not possible.
“It pains me that there are children that have this as a reality,” says Kyla. “So in order to do my part to try to work against this, I am particularly passionate about volunteering with different organizations and different projects that seek to eliminate this disparity.”
Watch the video below to hear more about Kyla’s involvement:
What Role Can Technology Play in Fighting World Hunger?
In our world today, technology is a differentiating factor in the fight against hunger with the use of smart phones, satellites, debit cards, tablets, mobile apps, the cloud, and real-time technologies. Business information systems courses prepare students in developing leadership, database management, programming, information technology strategic planning, and networking skills, which are all needed to create a scalable and just-in-time framework for redistributing food for the hungry.
Why Pursue a Degree in Business Information Systems?
Kyla wanted to be sure that she selected a degree program that would benefit her chosen career. The BA in Business Information Systems degree would expand her educational knowledge to match her professional experience and provide skills and knowledge to “… allow me to remain more competitive and increase my marketability in this area.
"The degree program provided me a very thorough understanding of how information systems impact businesses and help them to promote and tie together their strategies with their information systems plans,” Kyla explained.
What’s Next for Fighting Hunger?
Kyla’s passion is improving food insecurity and food deserts that impact the community. With excitement in her voice, Kyla described how technical advancement of information systems greatly improved spreading awareness of food insecurity and food deserts by connecting those in need with donors and food sources. Internet resources, mobile applications, real-time donation systems, and managing information for those in need, donors, and contributing organizations are all functions provided by information systems. This point is where technology and feeding the hungry come together. Kyla shared her recent use of social media to support those impacted by the 2017 devastations of hurricanes Irma and Harvey in Texas. “That’s a big difference in maybe ten, twenty years in having that type of information out there that allows people to act from where you are sitting,” she noted.
What’s Been Most Meaningful About Your Degree?
Kyla was glad to share how obtaining the degree allowed her to say, “I’m prepared.” When meeting with leaders and discussing IT strategic directions, she noted, “I feel that I understand what they are talking about.” The degree also allows Kyla to have increased value as a contributor in her organization. Kyla knows there is a bright future in the information technology industry. Regarding continued education, she says, “I believe that I should need to continue, in terms of seeking to obtain my master’s degree—also in other fields of continued education in terms of certifications and other technology training that’s going to be important for me to remain competitive and an asset to my current organization or if that changes in the future.” There will always be opportunities to continue advancing in the information technology field.
What Advice Do You Have for Others in the Program?
“The key thing that I would say to any current student or prospective student in the Business Information Systems degree program is just to start,” said Kyla, who completed her first undergraduate degree at a traditional university before seeking her next degree with Ashford University. She fully understands the transition of getting familiar with the online courses, noting, “This technology did not exist the last time I attended college.” Starting the first class can sometimes be the most difficult part, and Kyla explains, “I think that I would approach it again the same way and just try to take it class by class doing the best that you can with all the things that you have to manage in your real life in conjunction.
“Do the best that you can. Take it class by class, pretty soon you will be over the halfway point in nearing the end of the whole journey!”
Written by Dr. Karen Ivy and Kyla Juniel.