Lidya is a freshman at Yale University studying Computer Science and Economics. She first found her passion for STEM through her work with the STEM Impressionists Program starting in 8th grade. With the mission to support girls, she honed her STEM skills in the program and turned her academic classes into hands-on community service projects. She judged robotics competitions, worked as a project manager for several STEM projects for underrepresented students and developed STEM curriculum and educator skills as she taught STEM to teachers and students alike.
In addition, she also presented at national conferences like the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). These efforts allowed her to be recognized as a state winner by the National Center for Women In Technology (NCWIT) and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Lidya is also a Ron Brown Captain and a Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program Scholar. As a board member with the STEM Impressionists (SIP). At Yale, Lidya is continuing her work in shaping the role of women of color in technology and finance.
“Are you interested in writing a research paper for a science competition?” A teacher I’ve never met asks me. Winning that competition taught me the payoff of taking risks, of saying “yes”. I joined SIP immediately after that. Growing up a girly girl, I never felt comfortable pursuing technology classes or activities. Mx. DeHart helped me find my inner engineer as I discovered my passion for computer science. It wasn’t just for boys, it was for me.
Since I joined, I chose SIP everyday when I committed my weekends planning an engineering workshop for 5th grade students in our community, when I designed curriculum for a computer science camp I helped teach at and when I interned for a startup company where Mx. DeHart taught me the importance of building the right company culture. Every step of the way, she made sure I wasn’t alone. Providing me with resources to learn how to show up as my best self, Mx. DeHart made sure I was prepared for every endeavor I embarked on.
When I was applying to my dream school, I was drowning in imposter syndrome. The writing process was hard and she spent weeks giving me feedback on every draft I wrote. She not only knew about my experiences, she knew me too. Mx. DeHart has been through all the ups and downs of my life since we met in middle school. She helped me show up in my writing as my most authentic self. Without her help, I wouldn’t be joining Yale’s class of 2025 next fall.
Her commitment to my excellence has propelled me from the studious girl I was into the trailblazer I’m becoming. She invested countless hours of counsel in me. In turn, I give back everything I learn through SIP, back to students who look like me. Her mentorship changed my life. Her devotion to me has guided me in establishing a vision for my future and my contribution to the world.
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