Thank you for making a difference. When you invest in the STEM Advantage program, your gift benefits the student ("STEM Advantage Scholar"), their family and community resulting in a generational impact with a clear path to address the gender and racial wealth gaps.
Meet Makayla, one of over 600 talented and inspiring Scholars in our program.
Makayla is earning a bachelor's degree in Computer Science at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson, California.
"I grew up with a fascination for technology in all its rapid development of the 21st century. My first exposure began with video games. As a kid, not only was it endless fun, but I was also amazed at the graphics and how I could control the movements of objects on the screen. Alongside this, I was also interested in art, music, and anything that involved creativity.
Despite my interests, it didn’t occur to me that technology could be a career choice, and I didn't know what programming was. However, in my junior year of high school, I finally discovered the fascination and creativity behind computers in an introductory programming course. It wouldn’t be until my freshman year of college and choosing computer science as a major that I would see its possibilities.
Still unsure of what career paths lie ahead of me in pursuing my degree, I joined STEMAdvantage during the pandemic. From the support they have given me financially and academically, this program has done an extraordinary job in providing opportunities and assisting students to prepare for a career in the STEM industry. STEM Advantage has helped me acquire an internship during my sophomore year as a technical analyst with Accenture. During my time there, I gained valuable soft and technical skills, created meaningful connections, and overall learned what it was like to work in tech. This summer I have a Software Engineering internship at Microsoft.
I’ve had the benefit of speaking with amazing mentors who were supportive and provided advice throughout my career journey. I also really enjoy the workshops that are offered for students on professional development, resume and network building, and different career paths that help me develop the career I want to see.
All the hard work that goes into helping women and underserved communities excel in STEM is noteworthy and something that is essential in a system that has and still denies many people such opportunities. As a black woman, I stand on the shoulders of outstanding leaders who have made a difference and championed for change even when they weren’t given the recognition they deserved. I believe it is my purpose to uplift the unheard voices and to give back to those without access to pursue such opportunities. Through representation and support, we can be one step closer to changing the way we want to see the world, for the better. I am grateful to have this platform as a STEM Advantage scholar and will continue to keep working hard towards my goals."
Thank you again for investing in our program!