Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Graduate becomes US' youngest African-American engineer

2012-12-16 14:22:28

Britney Exline

To say Britney Exline (pictured) is smarter than average is like saying Barack Obama is just another president.

It simply isn't true and here's why: Exline recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2011 at the age of 19, making her the youngest engineer to graduate from the school and the youngest African-American engineer in the country. Now that's smart.

At a time when young African Americans get too much publicity for violence or having children out of wedlock, Exline is proving to be an example of all the good that is possible.

"I really don't think it's been any different, except for in the beginning people are always a little shocked to learn that, but if they get to know me, then they know that it's just a number," Exline said at the time of her graduation. After graduating, Exline decided to take a job as a software engineer outside of Boston. She eventually plans to head back to graduate school, though, to follow up on her Bachelor's degree in computer science.

In addition to her collegiate success, Exline is one well-rounded young lady: She speaks five languages and graduated with minors in psychology, math, and classical studies. She also has a passion for volunteering to help others, having travelled to Cameroon with the One Laptop program. And at the tender age of 16, Exline worked on Wall Street and was also a participant in several teen pageants, winning two in Colorado in 2004 and 2006.

Not to mention that Exline was building pyramids with blocks at 6 months old and walking at 8 months.

Exline owes part of her success to her parents, Chyrese and Christopher Exline. In an interview with Ebony magazine, Chyrese said of her parenting, "I made sure they remained committed even when they wanted to quit. They learned you can't quit an activity just because it's hard. Sometimes you need to stick with something. That's the only way to learn how to persevere and overcome true obstacles. Eventually, it becomes a part of you. I believe this." Just imagine the potential this young lady has. With her youth and advanced study, she has the chance to do something great.

But the best part about Exline might be her humility. "I don't think of myself as extraordinary," she said.


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