Pathways for Youth Graduate Earns Master’s Degree in Engineering

Posted by: Karen McNally Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Center Posts


Mariah Woody began her journey with the Presbyterian Community Center when her mother enrolled in our Infant Massage class. The only girl and middle child in a family with four brothers, she entered Pathways for Youth in third grade and continued to actively participate through graduation. During Mariah’s high school years, she discovered engineering through a careers class and was mentored by an engineer in robotics, a field that caught her attention and imagination. She always scored high in math and science assessments. Tom MacMichael, retired PCC Director of Family Programs, fondly remembers Mariah’s strong work ethic and the fact that she was always the last student to leave each evening. A math teacher, recognizing her skills, referred her to the Virginia Western Community College Engineering program. Supported by the PCC, she took classes at Virginia Western while still in high school. She graduated from Patrick Henry High School with an associate degree in Engineering. Mariah then entered North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. After earning her BS, Mariah continued at A&T, earning her Master’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering. At her recent graduation, her long-time Pathways mentor, Deborah Patterson was in attendance. Mariah is now working as a Design Engineer for TIMCO, an aviation company. She designs airplane seats. Mariah can work from home, but frequently travels, which she loves. While working on her Master’s, Mariah joined AmeriCorps as a case manager for refugees with the African Services Coalition. It was during this time that she successfully completed a project to improve the Coalition’s systems information data analysis. Since that time, her system has been shared and used by other non-profits. She credits the support she received from her family and the PCC for attaining her goals. Mariah says, “I knew that to be successful I had to do whatever was needed; talk to people in my field and look to role models like the many I had during my years at PCC.” Congratulations Mariah!

Mariah and her longtime tutor, Deborah Patterson

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