As a first-generation college student, I always dreamed of becoming successful and escaping the cycle of poverty. In 2017 I decided to enter the STEM field and major in Computer Science, despite having no software engineering experience. My first semester taking a full STEM course load led to me failing with a 1.7 GPA. However, I didn’t let that stop me and instead took it as a learning lesson.
Three years later I graduated summa cum laude with my B.S in Computer Information Systems at Southern Connecticut State University. Since then I’ve gone on to intern and work full time at Yale University as a Junior Software Developer. Now, I work fully remote as a Full-Stack Software Engineering at a leading startup company that’s increasing mental health resources. I’m currently closing on my first house for my parents who have always supported me throughout this journey.
I truly believe in chasing your dreams, persevering, and above all never giving up. Every failure is one step closer to success. Trust in yourself, trust the process, and eventually, you’ll get there!
–Rayleen Paret, SCSU ’20