Scholarship helps Computer Engineering major pursue her dream
Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up. For Caryn Sims ’22, technology seemed like a field that would interest her, but she didn’t know right away where it might lead. “I liked computers and grew up learning a lot from my dad, who works in IT,” she says. “There are so many things you can do related to computer work.”
One thing that was certain for Sims was attending York College of Pennsylvania. The native of Ramsey, New Jersey, found a community where she felt connected and saw an opportunity to be independent. She entered York College as a Computer Science major, but with her dad’s advice, she decided to take an engineering class. “I was hooked,” she says. “I loved the electrical aspects that still incorporated coding. I switched majors my second semester here.”
That switch from Computer Science to Computer Engineering could have meant an extra financial cost, she says. The change added two more semesters to her college experience, but thanks to a scholarship, changing her major meant following her dream wouldn’t be a financial burden.
“It gave me a little extra support,” Sims says. “I didn’t have to make a career decision based on finances. I could make it based on what was the best option for me.”
Creating a path for others
Sims looks to her dad for her inspiration in pursuing a career in the sciences. But, she says, not everyone has someone to show the opportunities within a science or engineering field. That’s where Sims decided she could be the inspiration for someone else.
As the Vice President of the Women in Sciences and Engineering Club, Sims has found a network of peers who want to break the stigmas around women in these fields. A fairly new club, Sims feels there are a lot of opportunities for the group to make an impact.
One way the club has been doing that is by hosting Tech Tinkers with area grade school students. Previously hosted by Graham Scholars, the Women in Sciences and Engineering Club took it over to invite students to the Kinsley Engineering Center and foster curiosity in the field.
While Sims loves working with the kids, she also hopes the club puts her in a position to help some of her classmates. “I want other women in the program to look to me and know they can come to me for help,” she says. “We can do great things if we work together.”
A fulfilling experience
In addition to her leadership role with the club, Sims is an e-board member with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), where she helps to plan events that are both virtual and in-person. She’s also a Student Ambassador, an Orientation Leader, and a member of the Ski and Outdoor Club. Her weekly Bible study group also has been a place for her to feel connected.
“There are a lot of opportunities to not only make friends, but to get the personal development you need to be successful,” Sims says. “I feel fortunate for all of the opportunities York College has provided me.”