- Breaking barriers in STEM
- Age: 20
- School: University of Pennsylvania
- Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Gender: Female
- Category: Science and Technology
Brittney likes to say that she is a product of nature and nurture. She taught herself how to read at age 2. She did complicated jigsaw puzzles. She used to solve problems out of workbooks for fun. Her mom noticed her early accomplishments and tried to find the best educational fit, which is how she ended up skipping three grades. At 15, she became the youngest African American to attend an Ivy League school when she enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. When she graduated at 19, she became the youngest African-American engineer.
She is a software engineer for Chikita, an online advertising network in Westborough, Mass. "My mom had to fight to get me to a place that was challenging," she said. "I just happened to rise to that challenge." Brittney tries to encourage more African-American youths to consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. "We have an outdated way of teaching math and science," she said. "We need it be more interactive and more project-oriented."