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Yami Payne


Bold Points








I am a passionate young woman who plans on pursuing Electrical Engineering, at UAB, to break barriers, innovate, and inspire. Committed to diversity in STEM.


Coastal Alabama Community College

Trade School
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

Daphne High School

High School
2020 - 2023


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Engineering, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Electrical engineering

    • Dream career goals:

    • Host/Server

      Olive Garden
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Daycare Teacher

      Coastal Kids Academy
      2024 – Present5 months
    • Electrical Engineer Intern

      Riviera Utilities
      2023 – 2023



    2022 - 20231 year


    • Lady Trojans Step Team

      2021 – Present

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      2023 – Present

    Future Interests



    Black Leaders Scholarship
    One Black leader who has deeply inspired me is Dr. Mae Jemison, a trailblazing astronaut, physician, and advocate for STEM education and diversity. Dr. Jemison made history in 1992 as the first African American woman to travel into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes in the predominantly white and male-dominated field of space exploration. Dr. Jemison's journey to becoming an astronaut is a testament to her resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in herself. Despite facing numerous obstacles and systemic barriers as a Black woman pursuing a career in STEM, she remained undeterred in her pursuit of her dreams. She earned degrees in chemical engineering and African and African American Studies from Stanford University before obtaining her medical degree from Cornell University. What sets Dr. Jemison apart as a leader is not just her remarkable achievements in space, but also her commitment to inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers. Following her historic spaceflight, she founded the Jemison Group, a technology consulting firm dedicated to using science and technology to address global challenges such as healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Jemison is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, particularly for women and people of color. She founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, named in honor of her mother, to promote science literacy and STEM education among underserved communities. Through initiatives such as the Earth We Share program, which provides hands-on science education for students around the world, Dr. Jemison is empowering the next generation of leaders and innovators to reach for the stars. What inspires me most about Dr. Jemison is her ability to transcend boundaries and defy expectations. As a Black woman in a field where she was often the only person who looked like her, she refused to conform to society's limited expectations of what she could achieve. Instead, she boldly pursued her passions and dreams, blazing a trail for others to follow in her footsteps. Dr. Jemison's journey reminds me of the importance of perseverance, self-belief, and resilience in the face of adversity. As a Black woman pursuing a career in STEM myself, I am inspired by her example to never give up in the face of obstacles and to always strive for excellence in everything I do. Her commitment to using her platform and influence to uplift others and create a more inclusive and equitable world serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that one individual can have on the lives of many. In conclusion, Dr. Mae Jemison is a true trailblazer and a source of inspiration for me and countless others around the world. Her groundbreaking achievements in space, coupled with her dedication to advancing STEM education and diversity, make her a shining example of excellence, leadership, and service. As we celebrate Black History Month and honor the contributions of Black leaders throughout history, Dr. Jemison's legacy serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.
    Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
    Growing up in a challenging environment shaped my resilience and determination. My mother's battle with cancer and the financial strain it brought compelled me to take on two jobs while navigating high school. Balancing work, academics, and familial responsibilities was daunting, especially with ADHD and being a minority in STEM. However, these adversities fueled my drive to succeed. My mother's illness instilled in me a deep appreciation for life's fragility and the importance of perseverance. Witnessing her resilience in the face of adversity inspired me to remain steadfast in pursuing my dreams. Despite the overwhelming responsibilities, I prioritized my education, recognizing it as a pathway to a better future for myself and my family. Living with ADHD presented its own set of challenges. I struggled with maintaining focus, organizing tasks, and managing time effectively. However, instead of allowing it to hinder me, I learned to embrace my unique cognitive style. I developed coping mechanisms, such as breaking tasks into smaller steps and utilizing visual aids, to enhance my productivity and academic performance. Being a minority in the STEM world brought its share of obstacles. I often felt like an outsider, grappling with imposter syndrome and encountering stereotypes and biases. However, I refused to let these barriers deter me. Instead, I used them as fuel to propel me forward. I became an advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM, striving to create opportunities for underrepresented individuals and challenge systemic inequalities. Throughout my journey, I have learned the power of resilience, adaptability, and perseverance. Adversity has strengthened my resolve and shaped my goals and dreams. I am passionate about using my experiences to make a positive impact in the world. I aspire to break down barriers, inspire others, and contribute to meaningful change. My ultimate goal is to pursue a career in electrical engineering, specializing in renewable energy systems. I am driven by a desire to combat climate change and promote sustainability. Through innovation and technological advancements, I hope to contribute to a greener, more equitable future. Moreover, I am committed to advocating for marginalized communities and promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM. I believe that everyone, regardless of background or identity, should have access to opportunities and resources in the field of science and technology. By actively engaging in mentorship, outreach, and advocacy initiatives, I aim to create a more inclusive and equitable STEM community. In essence, my past adversities have shaped my resilience, determination, and commitment to making a difference. They have fueled my passion for learning, growth, and social impact. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey, I am confident that my experiences will continue to guide me towards achieving my goals and making meaningful contributions to the world.
    Joieful Connections Scholarship
    As someone diagnosed with ADHD, I recognize the unique challenges and strengths that come with this condition. At UAB, I plan to further my education as an electrical engineer by implementing strategies that capitalize on my strengths while effectively managing the challenges associated with ADHD. First and foremost, I intend to leverage the resources provided by UAB's Disability Support Services to ensure that I have access to accommodations that can help level the playing field in academic settings. This might include extended time for exams, access to note-taking assistance, or alternative formats for course materials. By proactively seeking out and utilizing these accommodations, I can mitigate potential obstacles and optimize my learning experience. Moreover, I plan to adopt personalized study techniques and organizational strategies that align with my learning style and preferences. This might involve breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, utilizing visual aids and mnemonic devices to aid memory retention, and implementing structured routines to maintain focus and productivity. Additionally, I aim to cultivate a supportive network of peers, mentors, and faculty members who can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability throughout my academic journey. Beyond higher education, my aspirations as an electrical engineer extend towards making meaningful contributions to the field and addressing pressing societal challenges. With ADHD, I bring a unique perspective characterized by creativity, adaptability, and a propensity for out-of-the-box thinking. I hope to harness these qualities to drive innovation and develop transformative technologies that have a positive impact on people's lives. In particular, I am passionate about leveraging my expertise in electrical engineering to advance sustainable energy solutions and mitigate the effects of climate change. By focusing on areas such as renewable energy systems, smart grid technologies, and energy-efficient devices, I aim to contribute to the transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future. Whether it's designing more efficient solar panels, optimizing energy storage systems, or implementing intelligent energy management algorithms, I aspire to be at the forefront of innovation in the field of clean energy. Furthermore, I am committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the technology industry. As someone with ADHD, I understand the importance of creating environments that embrace neurodiversity and accommodate individuals with different cognitive profiles and learning styles. Through advocacy, education, and community engagement, I hope to foster a culture of acceptance and support where everyone, regardless of neurodivergence, can thrive and contribute their unique talents to the advancement of technology and society as a whole. In summary, as an individual with ADHD, my plan to further my education at UAB as an electrical engineer involves leveraging accommodations, personalized strategies, and a supportive network to overcome challenges and capitalize on strengths. Beyond higher education, I aspire to drive innovation in sustainable energy technologies and advocate for diversity and inclusion within the technology industry. With determination, resilience, and a passion for making a difference, I am confident in my ability to achieve these goals and positively impact the world around me.
    Reach For Your Future Scholarship
    Pursuing higher education is not just an opportunity for personal growth, but it is also a powerful tool, particularly for individuals facing unique challenges like myself. As a black teenage girl, with a mother battling cancer, higher education represents breaking through barriers that are stacked against me. Receiving a higher education means defying expectations, dismantling stereotypes, and proving to myself and others that I have the ability and resolve to achieve my goals. It means gaining knowledge and skills that will not only elevate me in the field of electrical engineering but will also allow me to serve as a role model for future generations. In a field predominantly dominated by men, I have had to face the daunting task of constantly proving myself to my male teachers and peers. However, I believe that diversity and inclusion are essential ingredients for innovation and progress. By pursuing higher education, I am not only pushing boundaries but also contributing to a more diverse society. This scholarship will play a crucial role in my future career of electrical engineering . It will provide me with the necessary financial support to access quality education, obtain relevant resources, and participate in enriching experiences such as internships, research projects, and industry networking opportunities. These opportunities are pivotal for young individuals like myself, who may lack the means to fully explore their potential without financial assistance. In conclusion, this scholarship would alleviate the financial burden on my family, particularly during such difficult times with my mother's illness. It would bring peace of mind and allow me to focus wholeheartedly on my studies and career aspirations rather than worrying about financial constraints. By awarding me this scholarship, you would not only invest in my future but also in the potential of every young student who yearns for the opportunity to shatter barriers and make a positive impact. This scholarship would enable me to seize every opportunity, challenge societal norms, and eventually contribute to making the world a more inclusive and innovative place. Hopefully, you will consider me as a candidate for this scholarship as it would allow me to put my best foot forward in continuing my education at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and give me an even playing field with the rest of my peers in my career path. I will use this as an opportunity to prove that women, especially women of color, can do the same job, if not better, then those who are putting us down.