During a pause from a busy workday, Niyi “John” Olajide BSTE’04 sits at a conference table overlooking the Dallas North Tollway to visit with four engineering students who want to know about his career journey.
Olajide is young, successful and philanthropic: At 34 years old, he is running a vibrant technology health care business, and he recently created the first Opportunity Fund to benefit a student group at UT Dallas.
Students in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at UT Dallas will receive support for educational programs, travel and more, because Olajide, a former member of the student organization, wants to give back.
For Olajide, this means giving to support UT Dallas students and visiting with them to talk about their studies and future careers. He also hopes to pass along wisdom gained from his life experiences that might benefit them.
“He started in the same position as us,” said Demarcus Lott, vice president of the UT Dallas NSBE chapter. “He achieved a level of success that astounded us, and what’s more he isn’t satisfied. Seeing that hunger is admirable and inspiring. It’s kind of like looking up to a big brother who accomplished a lot and saying ‘Hey, I could do that, too.’”
Originally from Nigeria, Olajide worked as a consultant in the health care industry to help pay for his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications engineering at UT Dallas. It was during a visit to his aunt, who worked at a home health care agency, that Olajide’s professional career came into focus. He took notice of the agency’s multiple un-networked computers and connected them, allowing the agency to work more efficiently.
Sensing a business opportunity, Olajide founded Axxess, a Dallas-based technology company that streamlines operations for health care agencies. The cloud-based software makes all aspects of patient care and administrative aspects available digitally.
As his business grows, Olajide wants to ensure that UT Dallas students get access to the same formative educational experiences that he did.
“I’m a very proud UT Dallas alumnus,” Olajide said. “Some of the brightest engineers in the country graduate from this school, and the opportunities are limitless for them. I’m glad to help and support their dreams so that they can make a difference in the world. If they succeed, we all succeed, and I’m dedicated to helping make that happen.”
The Daniel and Elizabeth Olajide Opportunity Fund is one of 80 established at UT Dallas. These unrestricted endowments can be established to support a school, department, research center or any other area donors choose. These funds can be established with a gift of at least $10,000 and can be pledged over five years.
The Olajide fund establishes an endowment for UT Dallas that provides support to the National Society of Black Engineers for the group’s activities that benefit the University.
“When alumni support UT Dallas it sends an important message to our students that not only are they are a worthy investment, but that it’s beneficial to stay connected to the University even after they graduate,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Lott, a junior studying mechanical engineering, is grateful that Olajide’s gift will help pay for NSBE members’ travel to educational conferences.
“This opens the opportunity to meet and network with other NSBE members across the region and nation,” Lott said. “Networking with other members and professionals can lead to great jobs and internships.”
Source | UT Dallas News Center
About the UT Dallas Computer Science Department
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 1,600 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,100 master’s students, 160 PhD students, and 80 faculty members, as of Fall 2015. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.