On Saturday, February 11, Justin Simpson won the Black Engineer of the Year Chairman’s Award for mentoring students at historically Black colleges and universities and the work done by a nonprofit he founded, A Little Bit of Hope.
A recent winner of this occasional award presented at BEYA is Calvin G. Butler, president and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation.
Butler was honored in 2021 for outstanding contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
As director of data security for Walmart, Simpson oversees cryptography teams that protect Walmart’s assets and data integrity for all stores, clubs, and distribution centers in over 27 countries.
He also makes time to nurture and develop next-generation talent on the University of Alabama’s management information systems advisory board and the computer science advisory board for Florida A&M University. Simpson mentors students at other historically Black colleges and universities.
In his spare time, Simpson established A Little Bit of Hope (ALBH) to support underserved communities. He aims to help historically marginalized populations earn a living wage, have sustainable careers, and build generational wealth.
“I’ve always been passionate about leaving a legacy,” Simpson said during his acceptance speech.”Not because it’s easy but because I stand on the shoulders of legends. Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so that our children can soar, and I’m here today so that every Black and Brown child knows they can do it too.”
Since the formation of ALBH, the organization has partnered with three Title I schools to host back-to-school events, gifting backpacks filled with school supplies to 1,500 students. In addition, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he joined North Carolina A&T University to help provide 25 students with new computers so they could continue their education from home.