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Inspirational teen surprised with internship at Cleveland Clinic's IBM Discovery Accelerator

Posted at 10:57 AM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 12:36:31-04

CLEVELAND — We love it when good things happen to good people. Especially, when it’s the result of hard work.

The Cleveland Clinic and IBM just surprised Cleveland high school student, Mussa Wisoba, 17, with an opportunity that'll help shape a future he's been working hard to create.

We first introduced you to Mussa three months ago. The John Marshall School of Information Technology student told us about his dream of becoming a scientist and to study IBM's first private-sector, on-site quantum computer at the Cleveland Clinic.

Well, Cleveland Clinic and IBM were watching our story and were inspired by Mussa's passion, dedication, humble immigrant roots and brilliant mind.

"It was a story that really touched our hearts," said Dr. Lara Jehi, chief research information officer for the Cleveland Clinic.

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Mussa Wisoba.

She said the executive team acted within minutes of seeing the News 5 story.

"So many of us saw his heart and courage, his hard work and his perseverance, and these are all values that we want to encourage and support," said Jehi. "So, for us it was a no-brainer to make this happen for Mussa."

She was joined by Dr. Ruoyi Zhou, who is the director of the IBM Discovery Accelerator at the Cleveland Clinic, to announce the new internship.

Zhou said it's crucial we train hungry minds like Mussa for this next frontier of science underway in Cleveland.

"It is for our nation because there is competition everywhere in other countries investing a lot in quantum technology," said Zhou.

Right now, IBM is installing the first quantum computer dedicated to life science and health care at the Cleveland Clinic. It could take years off breakthroughs in medical research and engineering.

Zhou says the Cleveland Clinic is already using quantum computing through IBM's cloud system, which they can access.

Mussa can't wait to get started.

"Every day I've been following what's going on with the Cleveland Clinic and IBM, and now I'm here. I'm part of it, " he smiled. "It's just amazing!"

Just like the lab coat Doctors Jehi and Zhou presented Mussa with, this six-week paid summer internship is a perfect fit for Mussa.

"In those six weeks, you'll be spending time working with our groups that work in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and quantum computing," said Jehi.

"Quantum computing isn't here to replace classic computing," said Zhou. "Rather, they complement each other because the way they work is so different, and so we want to benchmark what kind of cases classic computing is better for and when is quantum computing better."

She said Mussa will be helping with that as well as part of the internship.

He will be the first to go through this educational experience, but not the last. Cleveland Clinic and IBM hope to make this a permanent opportunity for students in Cleveland to make sure we have the workforce to join the quantum era.

The internship starts on June 21. Cleveland Metropolitan School District provides RTA bus passes for summer internships.

Mussa said his parents and siblings will be thrilled and so proud.

"I am just thinking, 'Oh my gosh all the hard work, it pays off,'" said Mussa.

A sentiment echoed by the doctors, who told Mussa's class it's a lesson that'll pay off no matter who's watching.

"Hard work will get rewarded. Dreaming big will get rewarded. Wanting to change the world will get rewarded," said Jehi.

RELATED: Cleveland high school student walks to school daily to fulfill dream of being a scientist

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