Monday, June 17, 2024

‘Give it a shot’: UTG valedictorian urges females to go into STEM

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BY: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

Ya Adam Njie, the University of the Gambia overall best student of the class of 2022, has urged females in the country to fight to overcome the gender disparity gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) by venturing into these fields like their male counterparts. 

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Ya Adam, who majored in Computer Science and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a stunning CGPA of 4.123, said women should stop overthinking and give it a shot in the area. She exhorted them to explore computer science and its related areas.

“We ladies, tend to overthink a lot sporadically. It’s a great thing, but every so often it can stop us from taking risks. Just give it a shot! You would rather not be in your old age and wondering “what if?”.

“Explore Computer Science and don’t be afraid of failure. It’s part of life. Hell, it’s part of coding! That’s what we call bugs! You don’t let a bug stop you, no matter how long it takes, you fix it and move on. Also, don’t listen to the people who call the field difficult. It is not when you have a deep passion for it,” she explained.

According to her, when she was informed that she was the overall best-graduating student in the recent UTG convocation, she felt good but sad because she would have preferred the gender disparity in her class to be more balance.

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“It felt good, but also sad. Good because I love to win [and] sad because I would’ve loved for the male-to-female ratio of the students in the class to have been more balanced.

“A lot of my classes were like 30 plus men and not more than 5 women. It’s disheartening to witness. Especially knowing the origins of Computer Science. Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer.

“This field used to be a female-dominated field at its start. I don’t entirely understand why the shift happened, but I would like for more women to actively pursue the field. It is so wonderful, and I know they would excel in it,” she explained to The Fatu Network.

Ya Adam is now looking forward to studying Artificial Intelligence for her master’s degree after graduating with Suma Cum Launde in Computer Science from the University of The Gambia.

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