2016 Regions Riding Forward® Winning Essay by Kylla P.

My goal is to be successful in my career by creating new and improved technological programs that will benefit and improve my community and other less fortunate communities, and reach top level achievements through education and in the workplace. Ms. Sandra K Johnson Ph.D. has done just that. 

Because of her achievements she inspires me, Dr. Sandra K Johnson is currently the CEO of SKJ Visioneering, LLC, which focuses on technology in Sub- Saharan Africa. She also inspires me because when I look at her she is a mirror image of what I aspire to be, and because she has achieved, I know that I can too. She is a pioneer for African American women in the Electrical Engineering field, being one of the very first African American women to earn a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Sandra K. Johnson graduated from Southern University with her bachelor’s degree, Stanford University with her master’s degree, and Rice University with her Doctorate degree. Because of her hard work she has earned many awards including the 2005 Black Engineer of the Year Award, and been recognized as one of the Top Influential Blacks in Technology. 

She was also the first African American to be a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. One day I hope that I can use the things that I learn and my talents to reach the heights that she has and to earn as many accolades that she has. Not only is she an Engineer she is also an author. The title of one of her books is Inspirational Nuggets. An inspirational quote from this book is “The cemetery is full of unfulfilled dreams; do not let yours die with you. Take time to pamper and reward yourself for living. Think like you are entitled to whatever you want.” This quote motivates me because I do not want to be someone who dies with unfulfilled dreams so I will work hard to achieve my goal of becoming an Electrical Engineer because I know that I am entitled to what I am willing to work hard for. 

A year ago she wrote an article titled “African Americans and STEM Careers: Getting a foot in the door”. Because of her pioneering the way I know that I can be an African American Woman that soars through the doors of STEM and achieves my goals. After I soar through the door I plan to reach out to African American boys and girls and let them know that becoming an Engineer is something that is possible and to be an inspiration to them like Dr. Sandra K Johnson has been to me and surely many others.


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