Senior Briana Vargas sat quietly in her Computer Science class, fingers pecking at the keys as code flowed easily from her memory.
“Bri, why don’t you ever have questions about coding?” Mr. Mitchell, her Comp Sci teacher, said.
Then a junior, Vargas merely looked up, shrugged her shoulders. For her, this was an extra elective, a chance to get credit to graduate and boost her GPA. Little did she know she had just found her future career.
“I didn’t know what coding was at all before I got a letter sophomore year encouraging me to take the class,” Vargas said. “It was based off my high PSAT and other test scores. I only originally agreed to take it because it could help boosts my GPA.”
By the time it was her second semester of junior year, Vargas was learning coding at her own pace, using lessons instructed by Mr. Mitchell.
It was here Vargas discovered she really had a knack for coding.
“I researched and talked to my parents and found out that it was a good field to into as a career,” Vargas said.
After applying to the University of Texas at Austin, Vargas was automatically accepted because of being in the top 7% of her class. Thanks to her receiving the Terry Foundation Scholarship, she also has a full ride in one of the top Computer Science programs in the country.
“Someone that is willing to give me money to help me go to school because they expect great things from me is a huge motivation to set the bar high,” Vargas said.
Despite being a minority in her chosen field, as a half-Hispanic woman, Vargas is determined to change the playing field.
Vargas is excited to explore the different aspects of computer science before settling on a specific field. She encourages all students to try Mr. Mitchell’s Computer Science class before they graduate.
“You never know what you’re gonna love,” Vargas said.