Why did you choose to attend an early college high school (ECHS)?
I learned about the opportunity through a friend of mine after moving to the area. The opportunity to earn college credit while in high school was the initial reason I was interested. However, after taking a tour of the school I really enjoyed the laid-back environment that was focused on student success. The people that I met there were unlike any other school I had toured before. The school’s culture was so positive and fun that I knew it would be a good fit for me.
Why is a college education important to you?
I will be the first female in my family to successfully complete a four-year degree. I want to set an example for everyone, especially young girls, that STEM education is very important. I knew that I wouldn’t get accepted in the technology industry without a degree and the process of earning my degree has taught me what I need to know to feel ready to make a difference in the tech world.
What are some challenges and successes you've had in college?
Like most college students I struggled with homesickness, finances, and adjusting to being on my own for the first time. I would say that my biggest challenge was being taken seriously as a young woman in advanced computing courses. Once I learned that I don’t need anyone to take me seriously but myself, I was able to become a lot more confident in my abilities. I started speaking up in class and volunteering for projects in my work-study position. This led to an increase in learning and close relationships with my professors. It also gave me the opportunity to work on and create multiple websites for different departments of the university as a part of my job. Doing all of this while being a part of and holding leadership positions in multiple student organizations such as the National Society of Leadership and Success, Zeta Tau Alpha, and Order of Omega has given me a very positive college experience.
How has being a GTF Scholar impacted your college experience?
Being a GTF Scholar has been very impactful on my college experience. My first semester I took a seminar class with all of the other GTF scholars. The course gave us the opportunity to get to know other people in similar situations to our own and helped with the adjustment from high school to college. Each of us was also paired with a faculty mentor in our field. Dr. Swain, our program leader, made us feel as if we belonged and always reminded us that we had someone rooting for us who wanted to see us succeed. I would not have been able to stay motivated or graduate if it hadn’t been for the GTF Scholars program.
What do you plan to do after you finish your degree?
I plan to get a job and pursue a master’s degree in business administration and cybersecurity to help increase the number of women in technology while bridging the market gap of people who understand both business and technology.
The GTF Scholars program provides financial and non-financial support to graduates of early college high schools to help them successfully transition to a four-year institution and complete a baccalaureate degree. For more information, please visit www.greatertexasfoundation.org/gtf-fellows-scholars/gtf-scholars.to top ^