High academic achievement has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember. Throughout my early education, in my hometown of Alexander City, Alabama, I was always at or near the top of my class, and in high school, my GPA was over 4.0, with the extra points I received for my AP classes. I’ve continued to exhibit academic excellence during my time at Tuskegee University. I was admitted as a TU Merit Scholarship recipient as a freshman, in 2015, and I’ve made the Dean’s List each academic year since, as a mechanical engineering major. This is my senior year, and my current GPA is 3.881.

Yes, I am proud of my academic record, but as important as academic excellence is to me, I know it’s only a vehicle for my true purpose, which is to encourage, uplift and motivate others; to help people who don’t fully believe in themselves know that they are limitless.

This mission, my life’s work, has driven me down many paths: from participating in numerous extracurricular activities at Tuskegee; to membership in the Tau Beta Zeta Engineering Honor Society and the Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society; to being named Miss Sophomore; to volunteering as a reading tutor twice a week at a high school 11 miles from campus. One of my biggest roles in student leadership for the 2018–19 academic year is serving as the First Attendant to Miss Tuskegee University.

My mission also steered me to the National Society of Black Engineers, which I first joined during my sophomore year at Tuskegee. I served as chair of the chapter’s TORCH committee that year, heading the Technical OutReach and Community Help program. With guidance from the upperclassmen in the chapter, I led mentoring activities to local K–12 schools, involving math projects and robotics, as well as a paper drive to make donations to the schools.

NSBE, and academic excellence, also brought me another great opportunity: the chance to receive a NSBE ExxonMobil Corporate Scholarship this academic year. The scholarship includes an internship with the company, which was a really, really great experience for me. I was brand new to the oil and gas business, after working as an intern with GE Aviation in 2016 and 2017, and I learned a lot about adapting, because I actually had to move to Midland, Texas, to work at ExxonMobil’s XTO Energy subsidiary. But ExxonMobil gave me various projects that were beneficial. I had great mentors, a great manager and people who were willing to help. So I feel that I learned a lot, and, most important, I was challenged to do my very best.

 

The scholarship grant was very important, too. I had tuition covered as part of my Merit Scholarship, but that doesn’t cover things such as chapter fees and program fees, and money to buy food, pay for the utilities for my apartment and other things to be comfortable here in college. With the grant, I don’t have to depend on my family to bring money to me,  so it was really, really beneficial.

 

I was blessed to be raised in a large, blended family with several positive role models in STEM, which gave me self-confidence in pursuing an engineering degree. My father has a master’s degree in finance and accounting, and my stepmother is an industrial engineer. My mother continuously encourages me and pushes me to be my best, and my hardworking stepfather always teaches me the importance of paying attention to detail.

But I’m also a “people person” by nature. I really love working with people. I feel that’s one of my strong suits.

 

I’m interviewing with a number of companies now, including ExxonMobil. I can see myself working in oil and gas or aviation in the near future, as a human resources or public relations person, using the problem-solving skills I’ve learned in engineering to help my organization and its members, including me, reach our full potential.

High academic achievement has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember. Throughout my early education, in my hometown of Alexander City, Alabama, I was always at or near the top of my class, and in high school, my GPA was over 4.0, with the extra points I received for my AP classes. I’ve continued to exhibit academic excellence during my time at Tuskegee University. I was admitted as a TU Merit Scholarship recipient as a freshman, in 2015, and I’ve made the Dean’s List each academic year since, as a mechanical engineering major. This is my senior year, and my current GPA is 3.881.