Crissy Travis, of Gary, is studying electrical and computer engineering technology and organizational leadership and supervision at Purdue University.
Outside the classroom, Travis has seen more than her share of challenges. Her story was featured this spring on the PU student website.
During her senior year of high school, her mother — a single parent to Crissy and her younger sister, Courtney — died of ovarian cancer. That left Crissy and her sister living on their own. Despite the challenge, Crissy started at Purdue in the fall of 2009 as a first-generation college student.
Today, she’s inspired and excited about her studies and her future.
“In fifth grade, we took a school trip to Purdue. We learned about a lot of different areas, and I came away with the dream of becoming a Boilermaker," Travis said. "If it was not for the great people that helped me along the way, I would not be where I am today.
“My mom reinforced that if I wanted to be successful, I had to go to school. My mom would often tell me, I had good speaking skills, but that I also had an aptitude for technology and putting applications into perspective.”
Engineering is a natural for Travis.
“If something broke in the house, Crissy fixed it. I always found a way to make it work," she said. "I’m a hands-on learner. That’s why I chose electrical engineering technology instead of electrical engineering. I wanted to get right into the labs and learn. I love ECET.”
Despite her course load, Travis is a well-rounded student.
“I’m involved with the Minority Technology Association and Black Voices of Inspiration. I am also starting a Purdue chapter of Students of Ailing Mothers and Fathers for people like me who have been through trials and tribulations. I hope this will provide the same support and opportunities to others that were given to me.”