When Ashley Payton was in high school, she was enrolled in the Teacher Academy of Maryland program. She planned to continue that path and major in Education in college. During her senior year of high school, however, Payton ultimately found her passion through a class assignment.
Information Systems Management
“I completed a research project on the workplace environment of African American women in STEM, and I learned a lot,” said Payton. “This motivated me to want to increase the number of Black women in the tech field.”
In 2021 when she enrolled in CCBC, Payton decided to major in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Systems Management. Because mathematics was one of her stronger subjects in school, she knew that tech would be a good fit for her. She also liked the diverse range of job opportunities in the career field, such as video game designer, information security analyst or computer programmer.
“I decided to come to CCBC because I wanted free range and have accessibility to a quality education while I pursue an internship in my career field,” she said. “I also knew that I was not ready to commit to staying on campus at a four-year university.”
When considering the financial component of her education, CCBC was the perfect option for Payton and her family. Because of CCBC’s tuition-free initiative, Payton is able to afford the costs of her courses as well as any books and materials she needs. She is a recipient of the Chin-Nithianandam Women in Technology Scholarship and has also received scholarship support from donors Mark McDonagh and Richard and Katherine Heacock
“These scholarships have relieved the financial burden of paying for my education,” said Payton. “By not having this stress, I can focus more on maintaining good grades in school.”
Outside of her coursework, Payton participates in activities at her church and is a member of the choir. As one of CCBC’s Fresh Faces, she regularly advocates for friends and family to choose CCBC to start their college journey.
She feels it is important to graduate with her associate degree from CCBC before transferring to a public four-year university to obtain her bachelor’s degree. This will allow her to have her general education requirements complete so she can solely focus on classes related to her major once she transfers. Payton’s career goal is to become a data analyst.