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Ligia A., 21 – FUNDED

“I’m excited about the doors this scholarship will open — allowing me to apply for Ph.D. programs and dive deeper into research that merges computer science and medicine,” says Ligia A., a New Face of Tech winner who is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Her inspiration behind working in research is to make impactful contributions to healthcare.

She is currently double-majoring in Computer Science and Biology at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

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

I’m extremely proud to be selected. This motivates me to continue being involved with research and keep expanding my skills — leveraging the combination of machine learning and medicine to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

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

For me, the best way to address the underrepresentation of women in STEAM is to implement initiatives that promote early exposure and engagement of girls in these areas.

Drawing from my experience working on projects dedicated to enhancing accessibility and fostering social transformation through science education, I recognize the transformative power of successful female role models in inspiring confidence and cultivating interest, ultimately encouraging young girls to pursue STEAM careers.

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

Pursuing a career in STEM as an international student has been challenging, especially regarding landing a research assistant position. The major hurdle comes from the fact that these roles are primarily funded by federal grants, which unfortunately aren’t available to non-U.S. citizens.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

Understanding the tangible impact of machine learning in addressing critical healthcare challenges serves as a constant motivation, propelling me towards expanding my knowledge and skills to contribute to future breakthroughs in the field.

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

It’s essential to fulfilling my dream of pursuing a Ph.D. after completing my undergraduate education, covering the fees associated with grad school applications.