For the second year in a row, HARMAN and 1,000 Dreams Fund are working together to find the next generation of innovators through our #NewFaceofTech Campaign, a national scholarship program for young women with career aspirations in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).
Chinasa Okolo, one of our 2017 scholarship recipients, is preparing to graduate from Pomona College this spring with a degree in computer science. She is working towards her goal of becoming a professor of computer science, and wants to inspire other young women to pursue their dreams in STEAM fields. We recently caught up with Chinasa to learn about what she’s been up to in the last year.
Q: How has the #NewFaceofTech scholarship helped you achieve your STEAM dreams so far?
A: With the funds from this grant, I have been able to pay for the GRE, visit graduate school campuses and submit applications to multiple graduate schools. I have also been able to travel to national and international STEM conferences.
Q: You flew all the way across the country to join an International Women’s Day panel and promote the second edition of this contest – paying it forward is clearly important to you. What else might you do to continue to champion this important cause?
A: I will continue to work with the clubs and organizations at my college that promote diversity and encourage women and minorities who are pursuing careers in computer science. When I attend graduate school, I plan to continue my service by volunteering and mentoring underrepresented students.
Q: What have you been up to since we last checked in with you? Any major developments or accomplishments you’d like to share?
A: Since we last spoke, I have attended various conferences around the world. I was able to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the largest technical conference for women in computing. I also attended a machine learning conference in Halifax, Canada, a computer science conference in Oxford, UK and another machine learning conference in Long Beach, CA. I presented my research at two conferences, and toured many graduate schools as well.
Q: On the flip side, is there anything coming up on your horizon that you’re excited about? New opportunities, classes, or other developments upcoming in your life?
A: I’m getting ready to graduate from Pomona College in two months! I was accepted to multiple graduate schools and am currently deciding between two great universities – Princeton University and Cornell University.
Q: Do have any guidance or inspiration for young women in STEAM who might be interested in applying to the opportunity this year?
A: To the young women interested in applying for the #NewFaceofTech, make sure you let your passion and enthusiasm for STEAM shine through your application. Always highlight the best aspects of yourself!
Check out this video where Chinasa discusses how this grant supported her career aspirations: https://youtu.be/RW38Wz2x0q4
This year’s edition of the #NewFaceofTech campaign is now accepting entries. If you – or someone you know – are pursuing a career in STEAM, share your story with us for a chance to win a $2,000 grant to help you achieve your dreams: https://1000dreamsfund.org/newfaceoftech2018/