Ty Darensburg, MS
Recovery School District, New Orleans
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I found my way to a STEM major accidentally. I started off in college as a Political Science/Pre-Law major, but was talking Calculus III as an elective because I registered late. My Calculus III instructor convinced me to consider changing my major to Mathematics. I did, and the rest is history. went on to get my Master’s degree in Biostatistics, worked in the education field for over 10 years, and finally found a way to combine my passion for education with my background in analysis.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I did an internship with the CDC when I first graduated from college. They allowed me to pick my own project and I did a study on PTSD and depression among Buffalo, NY police officers. It was my first time analyzing such a large data set, and my first publication as first author. I looked at differences based on gender, experience, age, etc. It was really exciting, and a glimpse into what I could do with data.
My mom is my role model. She started out working at McDonalds, and through hard work and dedication, she earned her Bachelor’s degree after having 3 children, and now she travels the world and manages clinical trials. She showed me what it’s like to have a vision for your life, and achieve it no matter how the odds are stacked up against you. She made me feel like I could do or be anything when I was growing up.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because it’s challenging, exciting, and there’s no limit to what you can do.
Advice for future STEMinists?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” -Marianne Williamson
My advice to you is to work hard in your Math & Science classes; look at them with new eyes and take opportunities for enrichment in STEM fields. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t do something or you’re in any way inferior. One of my really good friends always told me, “Don’t tell yourself no, let someone else tell you no.” For example, don’t say I’m not going to apply for this program, because I’m not going to get in. Apply, and let them decide. They might say yes or no. It’s your job to keep pushing until you get a yes, and I’m telling you that you will get a yes.
Favorite website/app: Too many to name.