Brianna S. is a sophomore at Garfield High School in Seattle.
What are your education and career goals?
I have always been very focused on what I wanted to do. The career path I want to have is computer science. I like how technology can help many people in different ways. For example, for people who don’t have a certain body part because of an injury or illness, one can be created to help them. I love technology because I really like to design and improve websites and games. That is why I want to be a TPM, which stands for technical product manager, someone who builds and improves websites, apps, and video games to make them more enjoyable. I want to have both a college degree and a master’s in computer science.
How are you working toward your goals now?
I am working towards this huge goal by going to coding classes. I attended a coding camp called Alexa Café, which is where I created an awesome website in a week. I have also been to Google coding events and created an app to pitch to Microsoft.
My education goals always have been to stay focused, make sure I understand what is going on in the classroom, and do well in my classes. To achieve these goals, I ask questions for understanding and make sacrifices here and there. For example, sometimes I work in the classroom overtime to catch up or get ahead even if I really want to hang out with my friends at lunch instead. I also stay after school to make sure I have an understanding of each unit.
What hurdles have you experienced and how have you worked through them?
One hurdle I experienced is being behind in a class and not understanding the material at hand, which can be stressful. I also put myself under a lot of pressure to get great grades. To get over these hurdles, I talk to myself in a positive way with reminders that everything is going to be okay. I think about what I learned from the experience, and how to do better next time. I mostly use words of encouragement while I study and prepare. I also work on projects and essays soon after I receive them so I don’t procrastinate and stress myself out later, and so I can put my best effort into my project.
Also, not that many African Americans go into technology, let alone African American women, so that may become a hurdle on a future career path in technology.
Who is supporting you in your journey?
My mother is definitely a big support for me. She has done so much for me and has made so many sacrifices, more than I can count! I love her so much! She taught me at a young age to know what I wanted for my future and gave me the tools to get there.
Another person who is a big support would have to be my grandfather, who makes sacrifices for me every day! I love him so much! He takes me to school every day. If he is in the middle of something he will stop to help me with homework until I understand every detail. He also gives me advice when I need it.
What advice do you have for other students?
Believe in yourself, work hard, and don’t give up. Also, work toward your career goals now, and that will make things much easier. It’s your choice of what career you want, not anyone else’s choice.