Alahna Smith discovered she wanted to be an engineer at the age of eight. For five years, her mom enrolled her in a National Society of Black Engineers summer program for young students in Washington D.C. From there, Smith continued pursuing her interests at an engineering magnet school, where she found her introduction into the field. Now she’s a second-year electrical engineering student at Georgia Tech and a Clark Scholar taking advantage of internship opportunities just outside D.C.
Last summer, Smith received an opportunity to intern at IvySys Technologies where they coordinated a project specifically for her centered around creating metrics to detect disinformation campaigns on social media.
“Before my internship, I was unaware of the impact disinformation campaigns have on our society,” said Smith. “I appreciate how my time at IvySys not only enriched my engineering experience and knowledge but also made me more aware of influencers, so I’m now less susceptible to them.”
In high school, Smith’s top choice was Georgia Tech because of its national ranking, location and diversity. So, when she received the call from the A. James Clark Scholars Program the day before admissions' decision day, her choice was even more clear. The Clark Scholars Program is dedicated to financially supporting students who exhibit strong academic and leadership potential, creating engineers of the future. Smith was a part of the introductory 2018 cohort of the Georgia Tech Clark Scholars Program, and she is paving the way for many students like her.