Grandview 18-year-old wins prestigious national award for women in STEM

GRANDVIEW, Mo. – A Grandview teen is one of 40 high school women in the nation receiving a prestigious STEM honor.

Grandview High School senior Chyanne Sandoval-Williams was just named a 2019 National Center for Women and Information Technology Award winner; she's the only one in our area.

Those awards will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a few weeks.

"It's a huge honor," Chyanne said. “Five years ago I never would have imagined that this would have been where I was.”

The 18-year-old is making waves as a woman in STEM.

"I am very obviously a female of color, and I am going into STEM," she said. "I've been given this wonderful opportunity to be an advocate. There are girls who will grow up and don't know what a computer scientist may look like. Whenever I feel like I should stop, I am always reminded that there is somebody who may need to see this."

Chyanne is right; there aren't many women-of-color with a chosen profession of STEM.

“I've been given the rare and wonderful opportunity to go and be a person that they can look at," she said.

And that's why once a week she volunteers her time working with a group of elementary students called the "Lego League Kids," teaching them the fundamentals of STEM.

“I would not be anything without the city that supports me," she said.

She's giving back to the community, she said, that has given so much to her.

"The youth is really our future, and people saw that in me, and I want to see that in others," she said.

Chyanne loves robotics and has been on her school's team all four years of high school. She's a lead programmer and co-captain of the team.

She also holds the title of Dean's List finalist, which earned her a trip to Houston. Chyanne has also done a lot of community service through Bikers Against Child Abuse and Wayside Waifs.

“Success is only step one to then lift people up further and further is the steps afterwards," Chyanne said.

The Grandview teen wants to be a software developer working in the field of virtual reality with an emphasis on crisis management. She later plans to become a teacher.

“There's always something to learn," she said. "There's always somebody out there ready to teach you something."

If you know a young achiever who is 18 years old or younger and is doing exceptional things, FOX4 wants to hear from you. Nominate them here.

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