Class of 2021
Since she was little, Kyra-Lee Harry has possessed a true understanding of how her technical and engineering skills can serve society. From sitting on the Brooklyn’s Community Board 9, to creating a New York State 4-H club at her high school on STEM and community engagement, to organizing a youth conference bringing together students from across the five boroughs, all while earning both an advanced regents diploma and an associate’s degree in biology before 18, she has been working towards her goal of making people’s lives better ever since she was a young girl.
While she initially wanted to be a doctor, she discovered through K-12 STEM programs how engineering can help the world. Now at NYU Tandon, she’s combined her two passions for engineering and management.
Once I learned of the Business and Technology Management degree program at NYU Tandon, I realized this is where I need to be and where I can develop my ideas," she shared. "This is the place where there are endless opportunities.”
Her first year here was quite a whirlwind, as Harry was featured in an article from The Bridge about her decision to attend the school, which included the higher amount of women classmates she found here. The National 4-H council, the global nonprofit that fosters youth development and leadership, bestowed one of its highest honors upon Harry - the 2018 Youth in Action Pillar Award. The organization honored Harry with the citizenship pillar that recognized her lifelong commitment to civic engagement and community building in Brooklyn.
She also became the first-year ambassador for the school’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a group she hopes one day to represent as the NYU chapter president and support other students hoping to pursue STEM educations and careers.
“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 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.”
Only a few weeks into her sophomore year, Harry received yet another prestigious recognition for her inspiring community work. Forbes named Harry one of their 2018 Forbes Under 30 Scholars, an honor bestowed upon exceptional students from across the country. The Under 30 Scholars program was unveiled in 2017, and selects technology and business students from underrepresented backgrounds. Under 30 Scholars gain free access to the annual Forbes Under 30 Summit, which brings together more than 7,000 young entrepreneurs and features over 200 world-class speakers.
Forbes typically selects junior, senior, and graduate students from universities to attend the Summit, so Harry was initially apprehensive in applying as she’s only a sophomore. “Within a day of applying, though, I heard back from the coordinator who informed me that based off of my application, I was chosen to be a Forbes Under 30 Scholar,” Harry explained. “It was honestly a great surprise to receive this honor.” As a Forbes Under 30 Scholar, Harry continues to make her mark within the NYU community and beyond.