Rio Manley Young is from Virginia and is a 2nd year in Computer Science with a GPA of 3.93. She says the best thing about being a Virginia Tech engineer is the community of engineers. Rio mentioned that in high school, everyone was very competitive and trying to get ahead of others, but at Virginia Tech, everyone seems to want to help each other learn. VT student's certainly embody the motto "Ut Prosim." When she was in middle school, she wanted to be a surgeon for a bit of a silly reason. She had watched the show "Lost," in which the protagonist, a surgeon, is able to help a lot of people because of his expertise. She thought that was really cool and wanted to be able to do the same.
Now that she’s at Virginia Tech she dreams to become a software engineer or game developer and continue her hobby of art. Rio says that if she could change one thing, she would change the way people's preconceived notions affect their opinions of people. Rio, being a woman of color, she has seen and experienced the negative effects of bias and she often wishes that people would judge others by their actions rather than based on assumption.
Rio was part of the Hypatia Living Learning Community in the previous year. Although she wasn't able to interact with her mentor and fellow mentees in person due to Covid, she learned so much about being a professional in the workplace, not only from her mentor but also from her peers. She has also volunteered with Kids' Tech University, where she led STEM related activities. She is also planning to volunteer teaching the elderly how to use computers.
Rio says her role model is her mother because she's a very hardworking and honest person. She taught her that no one is perfect and as long as you try your best, you'll have nothing to regret. She mentioned that her favorite cartoon character is Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran HighSchool Host Club (OHSHC). She watched OHSHC when she was in middle school and admired Haruhi's intelligence and hardworking attitude. Haruhi is very independent and honest, but is also very empathetic and cares deeply about her loved ones.
Rio also shared that her favorite genres of music are Rock and Folk, and her favorite film is Black Swan because it’s a pursuit of absolute artistic perfection that can be incredibly destructive. Watching the main character, Nina, slowly descend into madness is horrifying and Natalie Portman did an amazing job at portraying her transformation from a meek dancer to the Black Swan.