Cassandra P.

$1,000 Computer Science Scholarship Award Winner

Who dreams of working at a gas station as a child? Yet there I was. Three years a high school graduate asking to use the restroom like a child. I decided to go back to school. Anything had to be better than cleaning crusty coffee pots. I enjoyed mathematics and made that my major. After getting my Associate Degree in Science at Glendale Community College (GCC) I continued on to Arizona State University. My first day there I was handed a bottle opener from a beer representative on campus and quickly realized this was not the life for me. The very next day I enrolled at my old community college

I took a computer programming class for fun. The whole semester we built a solitaire game from scratch: code and graphics. By the end of the class only one other student and I successful completed the project. After finals, my fellow classmates were still asking me for help with their projects. At 26 years old I knew I had finally found my niche: I am good at making video games. I transferred to DeVry University and am working on my Game and Simulation Programming Degree.

"What has influenced your decision to pursue a career in computer science?" It was the respect I received as others asked me for help at GCC. Being a female in the science world for 11 years I know it is darn hard to get respect. They listened to me, I listened to them and we worked together to get their software fixed. For a brief moment I was truly equal and my words had value. Gender and age had nothing to do with it. It was an amazing feeling and I will continue to enhance my communication and my technical skills to encourage unity. I finally found my place right here as a computer programmer.

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