UD freshman, 4-Her first American to win prestigious Microsoft competition

September 12, 2012 under CANR News

Jacob Blacksten, a freshman in the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts Program (AAP) and a state 4-H member, won the 2012 world championship in Microsoft PowerPoint at a competition held in Las Vegas earlier this summer.

Backsten is the first American to win this event, which attracted more than 285,000 candidates from 53 countries who competed to demonstrate their mastery of Microsoft Office products.

In the final round, 113 student finalists participated. Separate events were held in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs.

Blacksten won a $5,000 scholarship from Certiport, Inc., in recognition of his accomplishment.

The 18-year-old is a member of the Westville 4-H Club. The past two years he has served as club president.

A graduate of Caesar Rodney High School, Blacksten is a freshman in UD’s Associate in Arts Program at the Delaware Technical Community College campus in Dover through the state’s SEED (Student Excellence Equals Degree) scholarship program.

Blacksten’s road to becoming the PowerPoint champion began last February as a member of the Business Professionals of America (BPA) program at Caesar Rodney High.  After winning a BPA competition at school, he advanced to a national event in Chicago and finally, the world championship in Las Vegas.

“My experiences in 4-H over the years have helped me achieve in other areas of my life, including at this competition,” says Blacksten. “I’ve participated in 4-H public speaking competitions that have increased my ability to stay cool under pressure.”

“Out in Las Vegas I wasn’t really sure I had done that well,” adds Blacksten. “When they announced my name as the winner I sat in shock for maybe 30 seconds. I couldn’t believe I had won.”

Blacksten is unsure of his career plans but is leaning toward majoring in engineering with a minor in business.

Article by Margo McDonough

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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