My name is Ariel Dolfin. I am a tribal college student at Navajo Technical University. Last year I was one of the eight American Indian College Fund Scholars who received scholarships to attend the country’s largest convening of women in tech, the Grace Hopper Celebration. This tremendous opportunity broadened my vision of the future and how I could talk to the youth in my community about STEM. I attended a luncheon for the SMASH Academy, one of the country’s largest STEM-focused college prep programs. Since then, I’ve wanted to start a University partnership in the state of New Mexico. Most partnerships are located on the west and east coast, and there is nothing similar in Indian Country where I live. I think the Native youth could benefit from these opportunities, to expose and familiarize them with technology and introduce it as a career option.

While at the celebration, I attended many inspirational sessions and got to network at the job fair. I am happy to announce that I have an internship for the summer, and it’s all thanks to the networking I did at the Grace Hopper Celebration. I will be interning at Shrödinger Inc. in Manhattan, New York. After I finish my internship, I have also arranged a tour of Harvard University with Dr. Kathryn Ann Hollar – the Director of Community Programs and Diversity Outreach at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I am two semesters away from graduating with my B.A.S in IT, and I am looking for graduate schools right now. The ivy league seems beyond my reach financially, but it’s not stopping my dreams or my future.