Kimberly Do, 21 – FUNDED

“As a Vietnamese-American woman growing up in the rural South, I faced persistent opposition towards my pursuit of a degree and research career in computer science due to my unique background,” admits Kimberly Do. But, she didn’t let this defeat her dreams. The New Face of Tech winner is at the Georgia Institute of Technology, studying computer science and chasing her goal of being an HCI (human-computer interaction) researcher.

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

It means that I can encourage other young women of underrepresented backgrounds to achieve their goals in technology.

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

Together, individuals and corporations should take active steps to promote the message and image of women in STEAM. Both parties must recognize the value of women and offer proper compensation and support while also encouraging young women to pursue challenging careers.

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

Throughout my academic career, I’ve encountered animosity from several male peers. Despite the prejudice that I’ve experienced, I’ve learned to accept the support of others and have since developed resilience and maintained my excitement for computer science. Regardless of the beliefs or opinions of others, I continue to pursue my dreams of becoming a HCI researcher.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I’m extremely grateful for all the powerful women in my life. Every day, I express my thanks to the most incredible woman in my life, my mother, who encourages me to work my hardest towards a future of my creation. Moreover, I also value the support of my research professor Dr. Rosa Arriaga, whose unending support has encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree. Together, these women (and others) provide the support and motivation that empower me to stay focused on my goals.

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

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has created financial stress for my family. This scholarship will offer my family much-needed financial assistance and allow me to continue my undergraduate education. I’m super-excited for the project supplies, new books, and additional elective courses that this scholarship will allow me to afford!