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Lexie C., 21 – FUNDED

“I’m over the moon! Being selected for this scholarship is a feeling beyond words, but I am extremely humbled by other people believing in me and my career dreams,” exclaims Lexie C., an information technology student at University of Central Florida. This New Face of Tech’s professional dream is to become a leader in the tech space by utilizing extensive offensive and defensive security techniques.

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

With this recognition, I hope to springboard myself to greater heights and gain endless experience in the security field. As technology advances, security measures must be 10 steps ahead and I want to be a part of this never-ending movement.

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

I wish I knew when I was younger about the endless STEAM opportunities that are both affordable and accessible. I think a large database of nonprofit organizations that support girls in STEAM, for instance, should be available and categorized by interests such as medicine, technology, engineering, arts, and more! Another fantastic idea would be a resource that explains how multiple passions can be combined into a single career — such as art and tech for user experience and human-computer interaction).

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

Like many, I was pushed aside for not having experience. A lot of us wonder “how can we offer experience without having the chance for any?” and that’s why I believe a single resource with many STEAM ideas and avenues of opportunity would be extremely beneficial to young people. Similarly, being a woman in a male-dominated field can be challenging, but not unconquerable. We should strive to create an open and equal playing field for all.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

My parents are my motivation — period, end of discussion. If it weren’t for my parents’ hard work, I wouldn’t have the support system that drives my confidence and focus today. I am dedicated to make my dreams a reality so that I have the best odds to finally give back to my parents.

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

It will help ease the funding necessary to become an aspiring security professional. From tech conferences to security certifications, this funding will help me become more equipped when entering the “big world.”