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Ready for NC State, Taliyah Moore got encouragement from the university's Women and Minority Engineering Programs.

A Role Model for Future Engineers: Taliyah Moore

“This is where I can call home for the next four years,” said Taliyah Moore after she toured the campus of North Carolina State University. The dual-enrolled student at Southside High School is taking courses at Beaufort County Community College before attending NC State to major in computer engineering. She will earn her Associate in Arts at the same time she will graduate from Southside HS. The Beaufort CCC ambassador participates in multiple clubs at Southside High School. With her dedication to her future, she is ready to step out into the real world and an unfamiliar environment.

“I grew up with a lot of technology like Leapfrog, PlayStation, so getting older, I started watching a lot of games on YouTube, and I always figured that was kind of cool,” she says. She has followed YouTuber and gamer Cory Williams for six years. She is not a gamer herself, but she became fascinated with watching people code and design games.

“I decided around ninth or tenth grade that I wanted to go into design or computer design so I could make a video game or develop an animation,” she says, “so the computer engineering route made sense because software engineers usually make video games. I want to see the development behind it and put it out there for everybody else to enjoy.”

Moore has stood firm in her career choice with the support of her role models, her family, and college staff. Her college liaison Amanda Avery nominated her to be an ambassador and after foundation coordinator Sheri Powell talked her through the role, she decided it was right for her. “I would say Ms. Avery really pushed me to be where I am today for Beaufort.”

As an ambassador she has learned public speaking and helped at events such as campus tours and fundraisers.

“School does not really teach you how to become professional or how to switch from being a student to a full-time adult,” she says. “Getting to know people, trying to dress formally, having an elevator speech has really helped me try to transfer over from a student to an adult. So, I feel like [being an ambassador] has helped me professionally.”

Her mother has always been her biggest supporter and influencer. “My mom would always say, ‘just follow whatever you really want to do, and do not listen to anyone else.’”

She is aware of how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are usually male-dominated, but she wants to be an inspiration for younger women and African American women who may be interested in computer engineering. “I want to be an inspiration for other girls that might be in my family.”

“A lot of people asked how it feels being a woman in STEM,” she says, “and, well, I like it because not a lot of women go into STEM, and I feel like it paves the way for younger girls. One of the hardest parts would not necessarily be about being a woman, it would be about being an African American woman because you do not really see that a lot.”

Moore is excited and ready to venture out to NC State’s campus and meet new people. Touring the campus made her feel even more welcome, and she automatically knew that was her choice. “I have never met a bunch of nice people all in one area like that,” she says. “Being in that environment, it is not that hard to just start talking to someone and to make a friend. I was scared for nothing, so I feel like it will be pretty easy.”

“NC State has Women and Minority Engineering Programs, so I feel like that helps. It paves the way like I want to,” she says. The programs offer summer programs for new students, overnight recruitment weekends, and summer research programs for undergraduates.

She is ready to trade the country for Raleigh. “The people, the lights, the buildings, I would just rather move instead of being here. That way I can start my own little life somewhere else.”

Moore is ready to attend NC State with a completely new, determined mindset and believes she can become someone else’s role model in the future. After her experiences with being an ambassador, she is ready to take on this new chapter.