CTK Alum is Full STEM Ahead

Mya Bragg’s path through St. Catherine-St. Lucy grade school, Christ the King, and now as a sophomore Computer Science major at DePaul University has been paved with hard work, goal setting, and a willingness to take on new challenges while remaining close to home. She looks back fondly on her time at CTK, saying, “CTK taught me to present myself confidently in academic and professional settings.”


During her freshman year at CTK, Mya set a goal of becoming the CTK Class of 2021 valedictorian. This helped her to stay motivated, but also brought some pressure on her to perform in the classroom. While at CTK, she discovered she had an aptitude for math and science, which led to her interest in pursuing a STEM career. She also carved out time to participate in band (flute and drums), National Honor Society, service projects, and the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice retreat in Washington DC. She ultimately achieved her goal and took the stage in June to proudly delivered her valedictory speech. In her speech, she acknowledged the challenges and achievements of her CTK experience, and shared her appreciation for the encouragement and support of her CTK teachers and classmates.


Mya is the first in her family to attend college, and has taken the initiative to ensure she is financially able to continue her college education. She applied for and earned a Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation scholarship and a Big Shoulders Fund STEM scholarship to bridge the gap not covered by her financial aid funding. Attending DePaul, and having her classes at their downtown Loop campus, allows her to commute to and from school, and not have to pay for room and board. Being a commuter does add time to her day and also makes it tougher to meet her classmates. Recently joining a bible study class has helped her to form some connections with her peers.

Her concentration in computer science and software development at DePaul should put her in line for the in-demand tech jobs. She is looking to take advantage of computer internship opportunities offered through the DePaul network. She says, There are not a lot of women of color in the technology side of STEM jobs, I want to show them that a woman of color can be successful in this field. Mya credits her CTK Corporate Work Study Program experience at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, and her supervisors there with teaching her how to interact and communicate with professionals. She also took advantage of an opportunity this past summer to work part-time at a woman-owned start-up, Carolyn’s Crisps, through the Hatchery, a non-profit food & beverage incubator on the West Side.

After graduating from DePaul, Mya wants to experience living in another part of the country, possibly California. She also intends to some day visit Cuba, which is where her family is originally from. Mya shared the following advice with current CTK students, Remember to go with the flow, and don’t get too stressed. Stay on top of your assignments, it will help you at CTK, but also prepare you for college. Take the time to join after-school activities and make connections.”


Wishing Mya continued success on her journey.