Engineering Success: Alumna is Trailblazing a Career in Tech

Preston Kendall, President, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep

Meet Klarizsa Padilla, a member of the Class of 2013 who just graduated with a computer science degree from Georgetown University. This fall, she is headed to Columbia University in New York City where she is pursuing a master’s in Computer Engineering.

As a mentor for Georgetown’s Women Who Code organization, a Google student ambassador, an app development intern with a tech start-up, and a web editor for the University, Klarizsa spent her college years dedicated to building digital literacy and encouraging other young women to consider careers in technology. Now, she’s determined to inspire other girls — including her three younger sisters — to pursue jobs in programming and coding as plausible options for their futures.

At CRSM, she was a member of the National Honor Society and a Student Ambassador, and was active in volleyball, soccer, and student council and volunteered at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, to name just a few of her activities.

“CRSM played its largest role for me once I graduated high school,” she says. “Upon finding myself struggling to navigate challenging courses and the dynamics of new course instructors, I messaged my CRSM teachers and grew close to other Cristo Rey students who were attending Georgetown. I can’t imagine what my college experience would have been like without the Cristo Rey community.”

Fast forward ten years. “I would like my dream of doing something for the less fortunate to materialize into a nonprofit organization.”