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Kaitlyn Y., 18 – FUNDED

“Given the growing climate crisis, I want to work to develop smarter homes, buildings, and transportation systems to optimize energy consumption without sacrificing the quality of life,” says Kaitlyn Y. “My dream is to work to develop the future of energy optimization technology.” The New Face of Tech currently attends Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana as an electrical engineering major with the intent of obtaining a minor in business economics and global engineering.

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

I feel honored to have my goals recognized. It shows me that, as a woman in the field of tech, I’m supported and my goals and the goals of many other girls are valid and, in fact, encouraged.

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

I think the largest barrier for women is that we don’t see STEAM as a possibility when we’re growing up, due to lack of exposure. We have to increase the opportunities for young girls to be introduced to STEAM learning. In addition to that, we have to provide strong female role models to show them the possibilities of future career paths and help guide them through some of the challenges.

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

One of the biggest challenges for me was finding time between work and school for my interests and friends. Learning how to take tasks one at a time and prioritize my mental health above everything else has been difficult. However, I’m thankful to have had many strong female mentors to help guide me.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I’m a big planner. To stay motivated, I have my long-term goals written out, but I split them up into short-term, manageable goals so as to not get overwhelmed.

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

It will help enable me to find and participate in industry and research opportunities in renewable energy.