Forging the Future: Chandler
Progress and service were motivations for freshman Chandler Watkins prior to enrolling at Georgia Tech. Since the age of 4, the Orlando, Florida native has been collecting food on his birthday, rather than accepting gifts.
The food drive grew to a massive organized event in his hometown, and all total Chandler’s birthday food drives have raised tens of thousands of pounds of food for families in need.
“That feat was only possible due to generosity of my friends, family, and community and I'm proud that I've been able to make a difference in so many people's lives.”
Chandler is also a passionate gamer, operating a YouTube channel about tips and reviews, even giving a TedTalk about the history of electronic sports and gaming. His primary game of choice: Minecraft.
Chandler taught himself to code playing Minecraft while in middle school, a game that also lead to a love of engineering. Minecraft also taught Chandler how to build complex logic circuits. By the time he was a graduating senior, his passion presented an interesting problem.
“When I eventually learned that what I was doing was in it's very essence electrical engineering and computer science I was torn,” Chandler explains.
So he chose to come to Georgia Tech, and chose a dual major in electrical engineering and computer science of course.
“My goal here at Georgia Tech is to get the best education possible and learn as much as I can,” he says. “It only seemed natural to me that I would want to learn as much as I could about both.”
Chandler says he knew Georgia Tech’s programs were among the best in the world, but what sealed the deal for him coming to campus is likely one of those things you can only experience at Georgia Tech.
After getting a tour of the Klaus Advanced Computing Building, he noticed a group of students playing soccer outside. Seems typical for a college campus, right?
“What really caught my attention is what music they were listening to,” Chandler recalls.
“Here were a bunch of college students playing soccer while listening to Weird Al Yankovic
songs and at that point I knew that this was going to be a school I'd love to be at.”