Teniola O., 20 – FUNDED

“Winning is not just a personal triumph; it’s a testament to the countless hours of hard work, dedication, and unwavering support of those who believed in me,” says Teniola O., who is a Computer Science and Mathematics double-major at Mississippi Valley State University.

“As I embrace this win, I am reminded that success is a journey, and this achievement is a stepping stone toward greater opportunities and positive impacts on my future career,” added this New Face of Tech winner who is originally from Nigeria and aspires to be a software engineer and solve real-world problems.

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

It signifies more than just embracing technological advancements; it represents a commitment to shaping the future with innovation, inclusivity, and responsible practices.

As a college student entering the dynamic realm of technology, this title invites me to break free from conventional norms, challenge stereotypes, and contribute to a diverse and evolving industry.

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

It requires a multifaceted approach. Firstly, fostering early interest through targeted educational programs and mentorship can empower young girls to explore STEAM subjects and envision themselves in these careers.

Secondly, creating inclusive environments within educational institutions and workplaces, promoting diversity and equality, can break down barriers and encourage women to pursue and thrive in STEAM fields.

Lastly, highlighting and celebrating the achievements of successful women in these disciplines serves as inspiration, challenging stereotypes and showcasing diverse role models to motivate the next generation of female STEAM professionals.

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

Navigating through college and academic pursuits inevitably comes with its share of challenges. I’ve faced challenges like balancing coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments, but as time progressed, I was able to.

Additionally, facing academic setbacks or encountering unfamiliar concepts may pose hurdles, requiring resilience, perseverance, and a proactive approach to overcome.

Lastly, the pursuit of professional development might involve navigating uncertainties, seeking internships, or networking, which presents unique challenges that necessitate adaptability and a willingness to learn from both successes and setbacks.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

It involves cultivating a clear sense of purpose and breaking down aspirations into manageable steps. Establishing a routine that incorporates both work and self-care, along with setting realistic short-term objectives, helps maintain momentum.

Surrounding yourself with a supportive community, seeking mentorship, and periodically reassessing and celebrating your achievements can serve as powerful motivators, sustaining your dedication to long-term success.

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

It represents a pivotal catalyst in propelling me toward my academic and professional goals. With this support, I can alleviate financial barriers, ensuring a smoother path through college and enabling me to focus more on my studies and extracurricular pursuits.

This assistance not only provides financial relief but also affirms that my ambitions are recognized and supported, bolstering my confidence and commitment to achieving success in my chosen field.