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Carolyn Z., 20 – FUNDED

“I’m incredibly humbled to be a part of this generation of ambitious, powerful women and non-men in the tech industry,” says Carolyn Z., a communications major at Northwestern University and New Face of Tech winner. Her dream is to be a writer in the games industry. “Technology is for everyone, so everyone should be involved in shaping technology – and this award will empower me to do just that.”

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

It gives me the courage to pursue my dreams of working in tech and gaming — two industries that have traditionally excluded non-men by any means necessary.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

Aside from supporting programs like 1DF, which are so important when it comes to allowing women to access mentorship and resources, I believe a robust STEAM education should be a central part of girls’ lives from a young age and that antiquated stereotypes about a division between STEAM and the humanities should be recognized for the myth that it is.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

I graduated high school with a GPA below 3.0, missed out on taking any math or science classes in high school, and was afraid to even consider working in tech because of its reputation for misogyny.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I embrace my resilience. I’ve been in tough situations but made it out and even far surpassed where I thought I would be. Failure always encourages me to iterate and improve, and I’m motivated by that incredible feeling that you get when everything finally clicks into place.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

Funding will allow me to access resources to support my education — both in school and out — to gain the expertise required to be competitive in the industry.