Castle Hill teenager, student works toward computer science career

Shemar Dacosta is presented with a special plaque while being honored as one of ten NYC innovators at the ‘10 Under 20: Young Innovators to Watch’ awards presentation, which took place on Wednesday, June 24.
Photo courtesy of CE Week

A local high school student has his eye’s set on a successful career in computer science.

High school student Shemar Dacosta, a 14-year old Castle Hill resident, is looking to use his knowledge of computers, science and technology towards his career path and future success.

Shemar, who will be going into tenth grade at the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering this coming September, has already gained recognition amongst his school peers.

Dacosta was recently honored, along with other NYC students, with an inaugural ‘10 Under 20: Young Innovators to Watch’ award as part of CE Week, NYC’s largest consumer electronics and technology event.

The award presentation was held for NYC high school or college students, ages 13 to 19, who are at the forefront of science, technology, engineering, arts and math innovation, honoring individuals who are developing products that exemplify an application of those fields and also demonstrate exceptional creativity, user design and civic mindedness.

Out of the ten honored NYC students, Shemar was the only student from the Bronx to receive this award.

At the presentation, Dacosta won an award for his project, ‘Voices’, an app developed for students to anonymously post problems in their school community so that they can be heard by teachers, principals, parents, etc.

Shemar plans to launch the app at his school in the fall.

Along with a special ‘10 Under 20’ plaque, Dacosta also received a gift bag valued at $1,000, consisting of goods for academics and other purposes.

“I didn’t think that I would be honored as one of the award winners and I was extremely surprised,” said Dacosta, modestly. “It was a really great feeling to be recognized as a young innovator and to see my app receive such positive responses.”

Dacosta has lived in the Bronx for almost his entire life, having been born in Brooklyn and moving to Castle Hill a short time later.

Shemar, who previously attended Soundview Academy for Culture and Scholarship before high school, currently volunteers at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, and said that his focus as a teenager is to continue accomplishing goals, winning awards and increasing his knowledge regarding computer science, which Dacosta intends to major in when he attends college.

He credits his mother for being the driving influence in his life.

“My mom always proved to be my biggest influence because she always persevered and never gave up – both traits that she passed on to me,” said Dacosta.

“When it comes to my career, my idol would have to be Bill Gates,” he added.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at

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