UNCF Scholar, Lauren Brownridge: Future Engineer

The UNCF (United Negro College Fund) will broadcast, UNCF An Evening of Stars, Presented by Target this weekend, and you already know that singer, Patti LaBelle, singer-songwriters, Erykah Badu and Anthony Hamilton, and R&B star, Ledisi will also shine.  Rolling out wants you to meet this UNCF scholar whose one of the brightest stars around.

Why did you decide to study engineering?

I decided to study engineering with help from my father. During my senior year of high school, I did not know what I wanted to study in college.  At that time, my father and I had a long talk about what I liked to do in school and what I would like to possibly do in the future.  It piqued my interest since I did not know what engineers did.  He told me to research see if it could be something I wanted to do.  It amazed me that engineers work on things that I use all the time, like roads and power lines. I knew then I wanted to be an engineer.  When I had to decide what discipline of engineering to study, I talked to several of my cousins, one who is an engineer, to explain to me the difference between the various engineering disciplines.  Since I liked math and physics, putting all this information together, helped make my decision easier.  I knew I wanted to study electrical engineering.

Do you feel that diversity is a reality in your chosen field?

I do feel diversity is a reality in engineering.  Just observing the professors and the students at my school, I can see that engineering is an interest that reaches different parts of the world.  We have professors that come to North Carolina A&T State University to teach engineering from a variety of different countries.  Also, the opportunities for students to study abroad give us the ability to see engineering in diverse areas of the world.  Although I do see a number of women in engineering, I also see that as an area that can have continued growth.

How did you become a UNCF Scholar?

I became a UNCF Scholar through a couple friends from school.  They had talked to me and some of my other friends about an opportunity to obtain an internship and scholarship by filling out an application on uncf.org.   Around this time, we were having our fall career fair.  My friends and I visited the UNCF booth to meet Ms. Crystal Terry because our friends who told us about this opportunity said we should meet her.  After meeting Ms. Terry and talking more about the opportunity of getting an internship and scholarship, we all decided to apply.

How has this prestigious honor helped your career?

This honor has helped my career because of the experience.  Now companies search for the type of experience you have had in your field when they are hiring for internships and full-time positions.  Before this opportunity came about, I did not have any experience in my field.  The internship that I was able to obtain through UNCF opened the door for me to get the experience I needed. It has helped me with my class work as well as opening even more doors to other amazing opportunities.  It has also helped me pay for my education.

What does your immediate family think about this honor?

They think that the recognition from UNCF is a fantastic honor and UNCF does a great job of encouraging young people to further their education. My family is very proud and happy for me.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I have received is to stay in school and to put forth the best effort in everything that I commit to.


The UNCF Evening of Stars, will air on Saturday, January 28th and on BET Networks at 11 p.m. EST/PST and 10 p.m. CST on Sunday, January 29th.  For a complete list of stations and additional information, visit http://www.uncf.org/aeos/.





Zondra Hughes

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

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