Sarah Albright, a computer science major from Gilmer, is celebrating her birthday. She plans to get tea with friends and have a movie night — once she gets her homework done “as soon as possible.” This efficiency is apparent in her interests and activities.
In high school, Albright, a Girl Scouts lifetime member, played clarinet in band, was the corps commander of the Air Force junior ROTC and created the robotics club.
She learned how to program robots in the eighth grade while enrolled in a robotics class — which led to programming games, which led to her interest in computer science. “It’s creative problem-solving,” she says of her major.
When not programming, she enjoys reading, video games, crocheting, watercolor painting and Dungeons and Dragons.
In August, Albright participated in Leadership City Limits, a conference for incoming freshmen hosted by UT. She says, “The conference had keynote speakers who taught us how to utilize our time. … Even though everybody has a different personality, everybody can bring something useful to a team.”
I want to help people who haven’t had opportunities others have.
Of her high school in the small town of Gilmer, she says: “It wasn’t that great in terms of technology. I was always helping out with problems with technology so that teachers wouldn’t have to wait days for the IT department to come to their room.”
Albright received an Impact Scholarship, awarded to students from across the state who are making an impact on their communities. She was also selected as a Dell Scholar at UT Austin, receiving a scholarship along with individualized support through UT for Me all the way through graduation.
Of receiving these honors, she says: “It was very surprising and made me super happy. … With my financial aid and the two scholarships together, it’s basically a full ride. It meant so much that I’d be able to go to such a good college for my major and not have to worry about finances.”
In addition to studying computer science, Albright looks forward to making lifelong friends and expanding her connections; she has already met others through her scholarships.
“There are so many things that come with the UT for Me Scholarship, like counseling and help in general that isn’t just academic. For the Impact Scholarship, we all got on a Zoom call and traded information. So I’m in a group chat with a bunch of different Impact Scholars, and we help each other out with UT information and deadlines,” she says.
Albright says that through her degree, she hopes to effect change by creating prosthetics and apps to help people with disabilities.
“I want to help people who haven’t had opportunities others have,” she says.