Francisca Li, 19 – FUNDED

Francisca Li’s professional dream is to work as a software engineer and make a difference with the work that she does. In pursuit of that goal, the New Face of Tech is a sophomore studying Information Technology & Systems (ITS) at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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

It means I’m able to feel confident in pursuing a career in tech and that I can possibly inspire others to do the same.

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

There are two problems: The first is getting young women to be interested in the field and the second is the pipeline issue — of women being too intimidated to continue pursuing STEAM. I believe one way to change this is to show how accessible STEAM is to women and to have more women in higher positions in STEAM. This allows young women to see that their dream careers are attainable and encourages them to continue achieving amazing things.

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

Some of the challenges that I’ve faced along the way have been due to a lack of resources and also to feeling like I “don’t belong” in tech. With technology being a field with such diverse job opportunities, I’ve also had a hard time narrowing down which area of tech I want to pursue.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I am self-driven and goal-oriented, which has helped me stay motivated and focused on my goals. With the big picture in mind, I know everything that I’m doing now is helping me achieve that goal. I’m also lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who are just as driven as I am, and they encourage me to stay focused on my goals.

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

It will relieve the financial burden a bit and allow me to explore opportunities that are out there in the tech field.