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Brianna O'Briant

1465

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Finalist

Bio

I love engineering and plan to pursue it in the future. I plan on becoming a leading technological innovator. I enjoy drawing coding, and starting personal engineering projects. I am also devoted to STEM. I'm currently finding many programs where I can expand my intellect over a diverse array of subjects. I also participate in college research projects so that I may be at the forefront of human technological advancement. Advocacy is also an important part of my life. being an African American Woman I understand the importance and stress of working hard in America specifically in their educational system in order to have the right to dream big. I want to use my engineering skills to change this system for future generations of diverse people of color and make sure to ensure a society where they are defined as more than their stereotypes.

Education

Early College

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Engineering, General
    • Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering
    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Accounting and Computer Science
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 32
      ACT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      engineering

    • Dream career goals:

      Company founder, senior engineer

    • GrubHub Delivery Helper: I helped my mother deliver fast food to people in the North Carolina area.

      GrubHub
      2020 – 20211 year
    • InstaCart Delivery Helper: Helped my Mother deliver groceries to people in the Durham area

      InstaCart
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Intern

      Durham Youth Internship Program
      2020 – 2020
    • Sales Person

      Sheetz
      2020 – Present4 years

    Sports

    Basketball

    Club
    2016 – 20182 years

    Research

    • Biomedical/Medical Engineering

      Duke — In this Duke Rep research program young high school Juniors and students spent a 7 week period to expand their knowledge on biomedical engineering fields.
      2021 – 2021
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

      NCCU — Analyzer of Data
      2020 – Present

    Arts

    • Independent

      Drawing
      2014 – Present
    • Band

      Music
      2016 – 2018

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Church — Church Service Helper
      2019 – Present
    • Advocacy

      BLM (Black lives Matter group) — Helper in Spreading the word of this cause.
      2020 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Church — Passed out blankets and clothes to homeless
      2020 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      4BetterTommorow Foundation — Peer-to-Peer Coordinator
      2020 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    3Wishes Women’s Empowerment Scholarship
    Take a moment and imagine. Imagine being a woman in modern-day society. Imagine being told by your mother at the ripe age of 8 that in this life you will always have to be on your toes. You have to be prepared for the worst, always be on edge, never show any weakness, and work twice as hard as your male competitor to even be remotely considered for the opportunities they are given. How can society most effectively empower women? There isn't just one simple answer that can solve all the disadvantages beset on women or save the disillusioned population that believes a woman's place is lower than a man's. However, by acknowledging that women are intelligent, powerful beings and providing them with opportunities to exert their intellect, women can finally start fighting against institutionalized misogyny that keeps them in a constant state of struggle. It is no secret that women have always been unfairly and disproportionately oppressed in the multitudes of patriarchal civilizations around the world. Societies discourage femininity, the stereotype typically sought from a woman. From the moment we were born, no, the moment our sex was determined by the lottery that our reproductive organs would be different than our male counterparts, we were set up for failure. And in different civilizations, there are always different womanly struggles. Ethical struggles presented by the destruction of reproductive organs or the loss of the ability to have an abortion which takes away a woman's say in what happens to her own body. We face financial struggles that impair a woman's independence, we’re forced to spend thousands of dollars on feminine hygiene products or are often demoted in the workplace after taking maternity leave. As an African American Woman living in America I have learned that to overcome and achieve my dreams I must recognize my disadvantages while simultaneously turning them into the inspirational fuel that pushes me further. But is that all it takes to succeed, to survive as a woman in a patriarchal society? The simple answer is no. There are so many obstacles that specifically target women and these issues can’t be alleviated without the proper inclusion of all humanity. For this to be achieved humanity first needs to acknowledge that women have been disproportionately looked down upon and kept in a place of suffering in most male-dominated societies. Once this problem is finally recognized the healing process can truly begin and in this society needs to shift the unfair political system that harms women by giving them more leadership opportunities and recognizing past and present advancements made possible because of women's involvement. By implementing these changes hopefully, women can finally be seen as equals rather than lesser beings that deserve special treatment. They can excel personally and financially and understand that where they are in society is due to their merit rather than their DNA. Or at least that is my hope. I am not fully aware of all the changes that need to happen that will help fix centuries of woman unfairness but I do understand that the way things are now will only continue to impede humanity’s advancements and millions of women's lives.
    Brandon Zylstra Road Less Traveled Scholarship
    From an early age, I have been obsessed with the art of creation. I would use my intellect, limited as it might have been, along with scraps I found around my house to manufacture something amazing. Well, in truth it was nothing more than garbage. Despite my youthful innocence, I realized that fact. Yet, I still loved what I made, and continued to work hard in order to produce something useful. My future career aspiration is to become a robotic engineer who uses their intellect to lead future technological advancements and create things that will benefit all of humanity. Currently, I spend my time researching technological advancements and starting personal engineering projects that I believe will help me achieve my goal in the future. In pursuit of expanding my knowledge of engineering, I’ve entered Duke University’s Research engineering summer program which I will be attending for the majority of my summer vacation. I will continue to put myself in other programs to help me stay at the forefront of STEM education. As an African American woman, I have been forced to fight a battle that I never consented to be a part of. I have been fighting this battle before I had any time to prepare as have other African American women. In elementary, before I was aware of the harsh racial bias in the world, I was happy. Until a certain interaction with my teacher while playing a silly classroom game. I always knew I was different in my school, it was obvious when your skin color was drastically atypical from those who surrounded you. But in my AIG classes, I escaped and always felt normal. I felt like no one judged me on anything other than my intellect. That was until My AIG ELA teacher decided for my entire class to play a game of Simon Says. The game was normal at first, everyone listened and laughed as the teacher told them to participate in normal childlike activities, to “spin around” or “dance like a robot”. I eagerly waited my turn, and I still remember the change of facial expressions from both my teacher and me as she told me to go stand in the trash can. Mine from happy to confused, and hers from playful to clear annoyance when I refused. The trashcan was still dirty from the lunch we’d all just finished and I had no intention of dirtying my clothes for a game or the approval of my peers. It was difficult to attend classes after that. I felt cold stares whenever I raised my hand to answer a question and the disapproval of the teacher who I thought was there to protect me and teach me the lessons that I needed to master to move on in the world. I eventually got through it and earned a high enough grade on my EOG’s to continue in the accelerated program I was in. But I will never forget what I felt that day, and how lost I became after participating in it. But I use this as a lesson, all that I was put through back then helps me persevere now. Whenever I think of giving up from my studies to maintain a 4.0, whenever I think nothing I do now is worth what the future has in store for me I remember that time and the look on her face and I continue to try my hardest to prove to not only her but also myself that I am more than my stereotypes.
    Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship
    The ability to excel at math is a concept that goes beyond simply mastering skills and school-related topics. Being good at math is having the creativity to solve problems by applying past knowledge to any given situation. I have always been infatuated by this concept, being able to take any given issue and use what you’ve previously learned to create something new. To me, mathematics is more than what is seen at surface value. Only mastering skills does nothing to innovate humanity or become the best version of ourselves. What’s amazing about math is that it can be applied to practically all situations. Reflect on the critical thinking skills that are applied in math. To solve an equation you need to take all values and properly combine or exclude certain entities. This is similar to real-life issues. For instance, if two people are having an argument you might be implored to use such critical thinking skills to either help dissolve the issue or participate in the disagreement. Using this principle people can take a moment to truly understand the feelings and ambitions of ones close to them or even themselves. In complete transparency, I don’t think that I am “good” at math. However, I will also say that I have never thought that anyone is “good” at math. To be “good at math” you must go beyond the expectations of all those around you and surpass the standards that are set. In my opinion, this is an impossible task to complete alone. As I’ve already stated, being able to creatively problem-solve is key to being a good mathematician, and how would one person accomplish this? But this is also a principle that draws me to math. Using this idea I can’t help but believe that teamwork and self-expression is an important worldly trait that undeniably will help birth these generations of mathematicians and aid in human technological advancement. Math is also a universal language. What defines something as a universal language is that it's a system of communication that has grammar, syntax, and vocabulary with people who understand it. This is exactly what math is. Below its external level, math can connect people worldwide and make a real difference. Math brings out something in all of humanity, we start depending on our old math lessons to enter the search for an answer, or, the search for the truth. Even though it is not obvious and many people might claim to dislike math and its approaches, all of its principles help us find out who we are and what we want to be. In my sophomore year, my precalculus teacher sadly suffered from a back injury that inhibited her from coming to school and teaching her students. Eventually, an issue started to arise when random pop quizzes emerged and proved that the majority of the class was struggling heavily. I wasn’t having that hard of a time because I had a certain way of understanding math, but when I realized this issue I made it my goal to have all my classmates excel in this class as I had been. So during class time after I finished my assignments, I helped my peers get through theirs. However, what this experience taught me was that math has the power to bring people together. Even after my teacher returned the students still confided in me for help without fear of peer judgment. I want to use what I've learned through that time to unite humanity, inspire innovation, and help others truly grasp the greatness of math.
    Caring Chemist Scholarship
    I am an African American woman in STEM. I am confident in my intellect, I enjoy being part of college research projects, I love creating things with scraps found around my house, and I am planning to pursue a degree in engineering which is known to be one of the most difficult fields for women to excel in. I am fully aware of the hardships I will endure when studying for this degree and the lack of opportunities that I will have to scavenge to propel myself further in my field. However, I am prepared to challenge the set limitations against me. I am determined to become a leading participant in technological advancements so future generations of young female people of color can have not only a role model but a pathway in STEM education that will allow them to participate in STEM careers without having to worry about blatant ignorance of their entire being. The future I am committed to creating is more than just a childlike fantasy. Since realizing my passion I have spent years dedicating my time to learning more about technological evolution, participating in programs and research projects sought out to increase my intellect in an array of diverse subjects, and I have teamed up with a local tutoring foundation where I coordinate and tutor today’s youth so that they may excel in their studies. But this is only the beginning. Once I finally earn my bachelors degree in robotic engineering after grueling hours of studying, research projects participation, and internships I plan to use the experience and connections I’ve gained to start my research projects specifying in nanotechnology or even working with a team of people to create next-generation robotic hardware and software. This includes robots that function for military, educational, and personal activities. While perfecting this I plan to use my free time creating a business to sell the nano inventions, software for said inventions, and advocate for STEM opportunities for people of color. I will have to divide my company into two main consumer markets: one for robots and robotic software that aids the military in training and defense and the other for robotic software and hardware for personal or educational use(this includes things such as schooling software, household chores, or video games). The expansion of my company will be set for over a 10-15 year period and once we’ve fully developed our online shopping site and set up stores over America in areas with the biggest populations, I will start using funds to create scholarships, internships, and STEM programs for diverse women of color. Becoming a CEO or a leading innovator in technological advancements is not an easy task to achieve, especially when taking into account the adversity I will face in the robotic engineering field simply because of the skin and gender I was born with. With this in mind, while currently, my dreams might seem out of reach, in college I will dedicate my time to studying business, making connections, and learning software and robotic engineering in an attempt of making my dreams a reality. I will use everything I have learned, and every financial aid I might gain with the aspiration of creating an inclusive world where all can live a life based on merit and not stereotypes.