As part of the “Young Women Shaping the Future of Tech Series,” a CUNY Brooklyn College student and Break Through Tech New York program alum, Chelsea Rice, shares her journey into tech.
- Young Women Shaping the Future of Tech Series
A Brooklyn native, Chelsea Rice grew up in Brooklyn and is currently a junior majoring in Computer Science at CUNY Brooklyn College.
Break Through Tech changed the way Chelsea envisioned her future. When she graduated high school, she was feeling lost and unsure about what she wanted to do. Although she was involved in theater and the dramatic arts, she felt that those paths weren’t the right fit for her career. Luckily, Break Through Tech “showed itself to [her] doorstep” just in time. Chelsea knew that she was interested in learning more about what tech was all about, but wasn’t sure how to break in.
When she heard about Break Through Tech, she took a chance on the opportunity to pursue Summer Guild in 2018 and explore the tech industry. This decision jump-started her tech career. As Chelsea began her studies at Brooklyn College, she gained more confidence to go for what she wanted and to celebrate her achievements. She is proud to say that she has interned at both LinkedIn and ASAPP and is currently working on a website and a video game.
Looking back, Chelsea recalls her Sprinternship® with ASAPP in 2020 as one of her most memorable experiences, not only because she could hone her tech skills but because she was surrounded by four supportive women in her team: Tiarah, Tara, Ashley, and Fehmeda. “The moments of just us working hard together to understand the task at hand was super fulfilling,” she describes.
As a Black woman in tech, Chelsea is proud of her professional development and wants to encourage others to take risks. Fear may have held her back in the past, but she doesn’t want to let that stop her from applying to new and amazing opportunities in the future. Her advice for the next generation of tech leaders: Failure is a crucial step to learning. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because what matters is how you learn from that experience.
“…everyone belongs in tech no matter who you are… as long as you’re willing to keep on learning from your mistakes and asking for help.”
Someone who stands out as a role model to Chelsea is the musician and cultural icon, Lizzo. Chelsea loves that Lizzo is such a great example of what it means to be a confident woman who is open about so many parts of her life. Specifically, she respects Lizzo’s ability to persevere in the face of hardship and criticism. In her own life, Chelsea strives to demonstrate those qualities through her continued personal and professional development. Now, she is ready and excited to take her palace as a woman of color in tech.
We can’t wait to follow Chelsea on her journey as she makes her mark in the tech sector.