Brittany, Mechanical Engineering, Seattle University
At WWIN, we see every woman as a star; bright, beautiful, inspiring, and full of promise. Like every woman of WWIN, each has her own special story of how she is walking the path to achieving her dream. Today, we are sharing Brittany’s story. Her exuberant attitude and commitment to making her dream happen despite life’s hardships, is contagious! We hope you are inspired by her determination and achievements. Thank you for helping her shine.
I grew up in the outskirts of Woodinville, WA., where I got my love for the PNW and adventure seeking. My mom had a great job at a bank in Seattle while I was growing up, but once the market crashed in 2008, she was laid off leaving her with no job. As a single mother, this was an especially difficult time for her, but since then I have seen my mom persevere and find a job that she enjoys. It has not paid much but she has made it work and has worked hard to provide for me and my family. My mom has always been my idol because of her determination and hard work. She has shown me that when things are not easy, you have to make it with what you got and keep pushing.
Throughout my life, I have done well in school, especially math. However, I never thought anything of going to college because neither of my parents had attended a big university and we did not have much money. I considered the idea of going to community college, but nothing more, and I never had any thought of what I would realistically do. When I was little, I told everyone I wanted to be a veterinarian because of my love for animals. Once I got to high school, I started to think about being a marine biologist, but nothing truly stuck. Once I hit my junior year of high school, teachers and counselors at the school would approach me about my thoughts on college and tell me about the resources I had. When my mom and I started attending seminars on how to apply for scholarships and financial aid, my perception of what was possible for me started to change. I had to really think about what I wanted to do and what I could do – so, I began my research.
Living in the country, I grew up being pretty tom boyish. I loved being outside, getting dirty, animals, and I was really interested in cars. With my love for math, cars and biology, the wheels in my brain gained traction. I also wanted to do something that would help people and make a change or impact the world around me…and, to do something that I would be passionate about. What came out of this exercise? Mechanical Engineering!
Like I mentioned before, my family did not have a lot of money to help me get to college, so now came the hard part…how to pay for it? I applied to 13 schools and many more scholarships, and was accepted at Seattle University which allowed me to stay close to my family. When applying for scholarships, WWIN came up. I applied because their values aligned with what I wanted to do in life. The opportunity to attend college has been a tremendous gift to me, and I have used every minute to increase my chances of doing well in my career. Not only have I jumped at every opportunity to actually “do” engineering, I am also the Vice President of the Society of Women’s Engineers Club at Seattle University. Being with other women who are interested in this industry is so inspiring. I have been so blessed to receive this grant – it has helped ease mine and my mom’s worries about how much student debt I will have once I graduate, but more importantly, it has given me the opportunity to finish my degree and go into the world working a job that I am passionate and excited about! I am happy to announce that with the support of WWIN, I have gained the confidence and skills needed to land a job with Honeywell after I graduate this spring. Thanks for helping me make my dream come true!