Focused on the future: The Bean Path

Local News

A Jackson native who’s moving up the career ladder at Amazon is giving back to the community.

WJTV 12’s Jade Bulecza has the story.

Tucked away inside the Medgar Evers library — on the second Saturday of each month is a place where you can grow your tech skills. Dr. Nashlie Sephus explains.

“People are just amazed at the resources available to them and what help they can get.”

Here at the Bean Path, Crystal Hill learned how to run her own website for her company Grace Garden Events.

Now she doesn’t have to pay someone for that service and she’s working to design an app.

“Me and my client, I would go ahead and be able to show them the aesthetics of the room, what the room would look like.”

Sephus says it was her dream to open up this non-profit and create a legacy.

“I’ve worked at GE, I’ve worked at IBM. now I’m at Amazon. I have a Ph.D. I’ve lived in places all around the world, actually and so being able to take all the things I’ve learned actually all the benefits and successes and pour it back into the city.”

She went to Mississippi State, graduated from Georgia Tech with her Masters and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering. She was also the chief technology officer for her start-up that was sold to Amazon.

“What we did was that we allowed people to take pictures of parts, and we wrote algorithms to recognize the items in the pictures so like screws, nuts, bolts, washers. we also measured the exact part that would fit whatever it is you were trying to do.”

Amazon also hired the engineering team from the company — as applied science manager Amazon, she’s on a high profile project called fairness and faces.

“We are working to help correct some of the bias and facial recognition it’s been a pretty hot topic in the news lately — not just Amazon but other companies making sure those algorithms are not biased towards any one particular group.”

Although she works primarily in Atlanta, her heart is always in Mississippi. After all, she grew up in Jackson attending Jackson public schools. She says it’s her eighth-grade science teacher who got her interested in engineering.

“The only thing I associated with engineering with was working on a railroad track. She actually told me about an engineering camp at Mississippi State for girls that summer and my whole world changed after that. “

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