Posted on Friday March 1, 2019
Meet an Amazon Software Developer with a remarkable Amigo Story.
Tanner Haldeman is an Amigo owner outlier. He’s 6’5”, just turned 24 years old, and works as a software developer for Amazon. Tanner is a mathematical whiz kid with extraordinary determination.
Tanner has Friedreich’s ataxia (also called FA), which is a rare degenerative disease of the nervous system that usually begins in childhood and leads to impaired muscle coordination (ataxia) over time. He first began using a power operated vehicle (POV)/mobility scooter when he was around nine years old. By junior high school, he used a POV to travel long distances; by 18, he began using his Amigo HD full-time.
Walking limitations, however, have never slowed down Tanner. While attending high school in metro Detroit, Tanner was accepted into the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology. UCMST is designed for students who have an interest in mathematics, science, computer science and curriculum integrated technology. Utica Community Schools is Michigan’s second largest school district; and, acceptance into the UCMST program is limited to 75 students per year.
Not only did Tanner excel in the advanced mathematics, science and technology curriculum, he graduated valedictorian from Utica High School. One day during high school, a UCMST alumnus who was attending the University of Pennsylvania visited and shed light on the generous budget and inclusive aid policies that make Penn accessible to students from wide-ranging backgrounds.
Tanner’s adventurous nature latched onto the opportunity, an opportunity to explore a new region of the country and attend an Ivy League school. He was accepted into Penn, and, again, did something few individuals can claim: he obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science in four and a half years and graduated with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude.
The adventure bug bit again while he was attending Penn and an opportunity to intern at Amazon became available. He interned one summer with the multinational technology company and landed a full-time position with Amazon Web Services after graduation.
On top of all these accomplishments, it is Tanner’s personality that brightens his accolades. A few fun facts:
- Tanner was captain of his high school robotics team, the ThunderChickens
- He was a Teaching Assistant at Penn for four semesters
- He’s currently taking improv comedy classes
- He’s making his debut singing performance in April (of which his mom will be in attendance and he’ll be singing a folk-rock song)
Tanner’s greatest joys in life include breaking out of prescribed elements, learning about diverse backgrounds and experiencing new things. His favorite experience working at Amazon so far has been being exposed to so many gifted individuals. “There’s so much to learn, and the scale at which we provide solutions is amazing to me.”
There’s no underestimating Amazon’s wide-reaching scale – and, there’s no underestimating Tanner’s intelligence, charisma and drive.