Scholar of the Week

Brittany Sandoval-Rivera
University of Virginia
Scholarship Sponsored by Leidos

From an early age, Brittany Sandoval-Rivera became interested in technology and computer programming thanks to her father. With a career in software engineering in her future, she works hard to bring technological understanding to minority communities. Through her dedication, Brittany has earned the Leidos Scholarship, awarded to her at the 2019 Conference by GMiS. Brittany is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA).

Brittany’s interest in technology was instilled by her father. It began when her father was able to leave the most impoverished area of El Salvador for the United States on a scholarship. Through his exposure to American technology, he instilled an innate fascination with computers in his children. Brittany also attributes one of her most important values to her father: Patience. She extols the value in patience, stating “Success is achieved through hard work; a program will not function efficiently if I solely attempt to fix the problem without truly understanding the reasoning behind the error.” Her father’s encouragement led both Brittany and her brother to seek futures in the field of computer science.

In high school, Brittany jumped into her courses and dedicated her time to her studies. It is here that, through the guidance of her networking class teacher, she learned the pertinence of seeking help and outside opinions when facing a particularly challenging obstacle. Brittany also participated in her school’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Program, giving her hands-on experience with programming. In addition to her individual experience, Brittany gained an understanding of working on team-based projects, and the necessity of communication and assistance between group members to solve complex problems.

Brittany also participated in her school’s Bridging the Gap Program, aimed at providing low-income students and their families with refurbished computers at no cost. Brittany’s bilingual abilities proved invaluable in teaching the recipients how to operate their newly received devices. One of her more memorable experiences in the program was providing a refurbished computer to a recently immigrated family from Honduras. The mother was extremely thankful, and her nine-year-old daughter was excited to have access to a computer.

With a bright future ahead, Brittany now attends school at the University of Virginia and seeks a career as a software engineer at an innovative and fast-paced company. With the skills she has acquired, Brittany looks to design an app and accompanying website as an interactive platform that an audience will find “positively addictive”. GMiS is proud to recognize Brittany Sandoval-Rivera as the Scholar of the Week for her achievements and awaits her exciting future.

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