Computer science senior Jackie Robinson recently received the Yahoo GHC Scholarship to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) conference on October 19 in Houston, Texas. Of the 45 applicants for the award, there were 10 recipients.
As part of the application process, Robinson was required to answer essay questions that tackled personal topics like why she chose computer science, as well as broader topics, like diversity.
“I want to learn about what others are doing to combat this problem and how I can help prevent women in the future from experiencing this same problem,” Robinson wrote in her application essay about cultural diversity and acceptance in the technology field.
“Right now, I have the talent, intelligence and the passion. In order for me to succeed professionally, I need to find strength to persevere and a network that can help me understand my emotions. Grace Hopper can help me find the support I need,” she wrote.
She also carefully outlined her role as outreach chair for WICS, and shared details about how the organization plans to promote and foster increased diversity in technology.
“The first time I went was important and very great for me because you so rarely see black women in tech anywhere but Grace Hopper,” Robinson said. “The first time that I attended was the first time that I saw so many people that looked like me. And I’m inspired by a lot of people, but when I see people that look like me, that makes such a significant impact.”
Although Robinson has attended the conference before, she will enter this year’s event with more context about working professionally in technology.
“I just wrapped up my first internship, so now I’ve been in a corporate office environment, and I understand a little more what that looks like,” she said. “Now that I have some background, I want to know how are people handling these problems? How are they combatting these issues in a professional setting?”
Robinson plans to research the answers to those questions and will continue to build her network at the upcoming conference, while focusing on her goals of ushering in a new wave of women in technology and “making technology simple and useful for everyone.”
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For more information on the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, visit http://ghc.anitaborg.org//. For questions, contact communications assistant M.B. Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.