Spotlight on Student Kyra-Lee Harry
She arrived, after all, bearing an already impressive CV that included becoming, at age 15, the youngest person in the U.S. ever to be appointed to a community board; organizing the board’s first annual Youth Forum, which attracted more than 300 students from across the five boroughs; spending several years as a 4-H club leader; and earning both an advanced regents diploma and an associate’s degree in biology by the age of 18.
Within a short time of first stepping foot on the MetroTech Plaza, Harry had been prominently featured in an article in The Bridge, a newspaper focused on the Brooklyn business community, which touted Tandon’s ability to attract stellar female students like her to the STEM fields; had become the first-year ambassador for the school’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE); and had garnered the National 4-H Council’s highest honor — the Youth in Action Pillar Award — bestowed in recognition of her firm commitment to civic engagement and community building.
That trajectory continued as Harry settled in at the school, and only a few weeks into her sophomore year, Forbes named her to its prestigious “Under 30 Scholars” program, inviting her to a summit that brought together more than 7,000 young movers and shakers to hear and network with some 200 world-class speakers. In 2018 NYU named her among the 10 most influential students of the year, thanks in some part to her growing involvement in NSBE: during her first year she organized a new annual cultural event, Mercer Street: The Black Edition, in honor of NYU NSBE’s Black History Month celebrations, and, elevated to the title of NSBE Pre-Collegiate Initiative Chair, she worked to institute five new NSBE junior chapters in local middle and high schools.
“I want to make sure that whatever I’m doing here at Tandon doesn't just benefit myself, I want it to benefit my family, my community, and the world,” Harry has said. “At the end of the day, I’m a black female engineering student, who aspires to be a black female engineering manager. I want to be amongst the women in the STEM field who are showing young black girls that it is okay not to follow societal expectations. You can go above and beyond, and you can achieve any goal you set your mind to.”
And in the meantime, she continues to ceaselessly rack up achievements: just recently, she was invited to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Year Convention, in New Orleans, as a special guest of Nationwide Mutual Insurance (her 4-H Pillar Sponsor). There she met the CEOs of Nationwide, the Farm Bureau, and 4-H, among other high-profile figures. And while each of those luminaries offered compliments and encouragement, we think her biggest, most fervent fans are right here at Tandon.