Student Spotlight: Cheyanne Harris

Sacramento CheyenneCheyanne Harris, a freshman at University of the Pacific, attended the 2013 Transportation YOU DC Youth Summit with her mentor, Heather Yee, whom she met through the WTS Sacramento Chapter’s Transportation YOU program. We sat down with Cheyanne to find out how she got started with Transportation YOU, what it’s like to have a mentor, and where she thinks she’ll go with her college career!

WTS: What Transportation YOU programs have you participated in?

Cheyanne: During my senior year of high school, I participated in a Transportation YOU outreach event at Regional Transit, the light rail system for the Sacramento region. As part of the event, 11 other high-school-aged girls and I toured the site where the light rail cars are maintained. Because I was able to learn about my regional light rail system, I thoroughly enjoyed the event. Then the summer before my freshman year of college, I was selected to attend the 2013 Transportation YOU DC Summit. Attending the DC Summit was extremely gratifying. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet top executives, both male and female, in the field of transportation. Attending the DC Summit solidified my aspirations to become a civil engineer and work in the transportation industry.

WTS: How has the Transportation YOU program influenced you?

Cheyanne: The Transportation YOU program has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams of becoming a civil engineer and working in the transportation industry. Transportation YOU has exposed me to women who are successful and make a positive difference in the transportation industry. As a young woman, it was inspiring to see women achieve such great feats within transportation. Getting the opportunity to interact with such influential and inspiring women has given me the confidence to continue in my educational pursuits.

WTS: What motivated you to participate in Transportation YOU? What do you hope to gain?

Cheyanne: I began participating in Transportation YOU after becoming a scholarship recipient for the Sacramento Chapter of WTS. My mentor, Heather Yee, exposed me to the opportunities that Transportation YOU has to offer. When I started to participate in Transportation YOU, I hoped to gain more knowledge about the transportation industry. As a former participant in Transportation YOU, I now feel extremely knowledgeable about the career opportunities within transportation.

WTS:  What do you admire about your WTS mentor?

Cheyanne: Heather Yee, is an extremely inspirational woman. I admire Heather’s determination to be the best that she can be. She does a great job of balancing her career life with her family life. I also enjoy the fact that Heather has interests outside of transportation.

WTS: What do you talk about with your mentor about?

Cheyanne: Heather has provided me with invaluable advice regarding college, career, and traveling. I enjoy sharing my thoughts with her because she provides a unique perspective to the situations we discuss.

WTS: What are your favorite subjects in school?

Cheyanne: My favorite subjects in school include chemistry, math, and Japanese. I hope to combine my enjoyment of these subjects with a career as an engineer.

WTS: What is the best piece of advice your mentor has given you?  

Cheyanne: The best piece of advice Heather has provided me with is to not limit myself when it comes to my aspirations.

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