With her love for technology and computers, Lee’s Summit college student Joanne Pederson has become known as the friendly neighborhood tech support person, swinging in to save the day when her grandparents, mother or friends need a bit of IT help.
She’s guided her mom on security issues and helped friends struggling with computer classes by meeting outside of class to help break down the problem.
A 2016 graduate of Lee’s Summit North High School, Joanne is now a student at Metropolitan Community College-Longview, with interests including cybersecurity, astronomy, psychology, sociology, online privacy, puzzles, video games, music, television shows and movies, computers and the Internet.
“My passion is cybersecurity,” Joanne says. “In my free time, I read articles about hackers, data breaches, malware, viruses, which computer certification I should get next, etc.”
Joanne plans to become an Information Security Analyst and aspires to be a pioneer/trailblazer for women in the cybersecurity field. To other young women considering a computer science or technology course, she says:
“Do it! There is absolutely nothing stopping you. If you just want to fix computers in a small town, go for it. If you want your name to go down in the books next to Anita Borg and Grace Hopper, more power to ya! You have so much support and we need more brave, smart girls like you.”
To learn more about ways to explore opportunities in tech, see www.kcstem.org/Girls-in-Tech/