By Damion Smalls
Breaking racial and gender barriers is a top priority for Kaylin Moss. The freshly graduated Wando High School alum has excelled in computer science to such a tremendous degree that she has been awarded the inaugural NJ Web Design & Development Scholarship and Internship launched by Lform Design, a New Jersey-based web design and development company that offers professional digital marketing, branding and consulting services. Along with $2,500 in scholarship funds, a summer internship with Lform Design is included in the award. The honor is tailored for women in the computer science and computer engineering fields of education, areas where women, especially black women, are vastly underrepresented.
STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and careers have largely been lacking diversity nationwide along racial and gender lines. As stated in the ‘Disparities in STEM Employment by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin’ report published by Liana Christin Landivar in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau, “Among science and engineering graduates, men are employed in a STEM occupation at twice the rate of women: 31 percent compared with 15 percent,” and “Blacks and Hispanics have been consistently underrepresented in STEM occupations since 1970. In 2011, 11 percent of the workforce was Black, but their workforce share of STEM occupations was 6 percent (up from 2 percent in 1970).”
Kaylin cherishes her position as a trailblazer and a role model to her younger brothers by shining in a field that she’s in love with. Noticing that most of her computer science classmates were white and male at Wando, Moss challenged herself to rise above the statistics and history to achieve a 4.25 GPA. A forward thinker with a plan, Moss would like to use her STEM skills for the good of mankind by addressing topics such as gender inequality, stereotypes and environmentalism as a professional.
The importance of Moss’s achievements cannot be understated as local Black girls now have another beacon of genius to aspire to be. In their eyes, Kaylin is someone that looks like her. From the same town. With similar, seemingly attainable dreams. A determined, groundbreaking, melanated force to be reckoned with that is representing Charleston well and making the city proud. Kaylin Moss is goals personified, without a doubt.
Moss has experience building websites and apps through her schoolwork at Wando. Web design is also a hobby of hers. Her 9th grade physical science teacher, Dr. Nathan Belcher, helped foster her time at the Mt. Pleasant high school that she describes as “phenomenal”. Moss feels well-prepared for university studies due to her intense workload at Wando filled with advanced placement classes and extracurricular activities, a “pre-college experience” in her words. While she is beyond excited to start college, Moss plans on enjoying her time in South Carolina before she travels north for the upcoming school year.
In the fall, Moss is headed to St. Peter, Minnesota to attend Gustavus Adolphus College, a private, highly rated liberal arts institution. The scholar originally considered attending the University of South Carolina, but once she visited the campus of Gustavus Adolphus, she “felt at home” and changed course. Kaylin has a long list of accomplishments, such as being inducted into the National Honors Society, National Beta Club and won the National Scholastics Silver Key award. As a Wando Warrior, she was a member of both the school’s band and Art Club and led by example as an Exceptional Warriors Board Trustee and Bee Club President.
Applications are now open for the 2019 Lform Design Scholarship and Internship. For more details about this exciting opportunity for young women, visit www.lform.com/scholarship. The deadline is April 15, 2019.