Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship

Funded by
Calvin Rosser
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Oct 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Oct 31, 2021
Education Level
Eligibility Requirements
Career Field:
Career Field:

From shaping our behavior, to shifting our beliefs, to redesigning our interactions, technology is rapidly changing the world. The rise of technology has created a wealth of personal and professional opportunities and the ability to leave a positive dent in the universe.

It’s critical that women be at the forefront of our tech-driven world.

Globally, women are significantly underrepresented in the tech sector. While many factors contribute to the gender imbalance in tech, it’s indisputable that having more women in tech will fuel innovation and lead to better social and business outcomes.

During my career in technology, I've benefited from having amazing female leaders who have increased my empathy, compassion, and effectiveness as a leader.

The Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship exists to move the tech industry in the right direction by empowering the next generation of extraordinary women leaders.

The scholarship is open to students at any educational level and field of study. The only application requirement is that students are women who intend to enter a technical or non-technical career that leverages technology to make the world a better place.

While not required, being involved in entrepreneurial endeavors and STEM fields of study will be a plus on student applications.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Impact

Scholarship application

Essay Topic

How do you envision using your interests, skills, and career in technology to make the world a better place?

500–1000 words

Winning Application

Karen Escarcha
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA
From Alexas to self-driving cars, the future is defined by the technology we design. But who gets to build that future? Currently, 83% of tech executives are white — a blatant lack of diversity that limits innovation in a sector that heavily shapes our society. While I can't stop the rapid rate of technological advancement, I can build a career ensuring that the tools we design are inclusive of diverse perspectives, accessible to marginalized populations, and eliminating systemic barriers. That is why I see pursuing a Master's in interaction design at Carnegie Mellon University as a crucial next step in my career. Prior to CMU, I spent five years working for the nonprofit Boston PIC where I was the Design Specialist & Executive Team Manager. I gained experience in education policy, nonprofit management, and public-private stakeholder engagement. In my last project, I led the implementation of UX methodologies to develop and launch an online application. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics with a minor in French from Boston University. Throughout my academic and professional experience, I have realized that regardless of language, culture, or race, people all over the world are finding a way to connect. Exposure to diverse cultures inevitably develops a sense of openness and acceptance and the possibilities of a better future are limitless when a generation is armed with a global perspective — a philosophy I believe that more and more companies are starting to embody. Since attending CMU, I have been laying the foundation for a human-centered design practice that combines research, strategy, and technical skill. My coursework covers topics such as design thinking, interaction design, service design, and rapid prototyping. My projects include designing a mobile application to help individuals choose birth control and designing a service for adult learners. Additionally, I have been working with a professor to research and analyze the design of nontraditional learning experiences As a designer, I will operate on the basis of a growth mindset where failure is not a setback but an opportunity to learn and improve. This is evident in how I collaborate with my teammates. They have described my collaboration style as external processing (working through problems together on the whiteboard) and asking the right questions that allow us to move the project forward. Ambiguity does not scare me. In fact, it motivates me to find clarity in the madness and turn those insights into tangible design decisions. I am not afraid to have a perspective on design. My practice is informed by my experience growing up as a low-income immigrant and woman. One thing I do not think design is doing enough of is considering how emerging technologies will impact our society and culture. As companies start to rely heavily on machine learning, I wonder how employers will play a role in these societal shifts. I am exposing myself to emerging technologies and developing an interdisciplinary design practice at CMU, but I am eager for the chance to work with a company that values a highly collaborative and human-centered design process to address our largest social and economic problems. I see design as a vehicle for me to help shape the future in a way that looks, sounds, and feels more diverse and more equitable.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Oct 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Oct 31, 2021.