‘Leadership is Community’: Blazing a Trail in Computing and as a Leader


Marilyn Flowers


Marilyn Flowers (ITM ’23): My dad is the reason why I got into computers and I got into the tech field, because as a kid I would always go into his studio and see him fixing on computer parts, you know sometimes a hard drive will go out or the fan would stop working. It was just so interesting to me to see, you know, someone know where each component goes and how it works.

That just grew on me as I got older, and I was like, ‘Computers are cool!’ You know, 

I want to know everything about computers. 

Scarlet Data Studio is a six-week internship program for software engineers or those who are interested in being software engineers. My mentor was Vinesh, and he would review my code that I have done for the week and give me advice on how I could improve my technical skills.  

Another thing that I loved about Scarlet Data Studio was that it incorporated diversity, equity, and inclusion. Nobody was the same in my group, and Scarlet Data Studio gave me that expectation of what a real world tech team should be.

When I served as the president of the Black Student Union from 2021 to 2022, my intention was and continues to be supporting others like [me], encouraging  change, and taking action.

I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be the voice. I wanted  Black students here to know that you can get in and you can graduate.

Leadership is the commitment that follows you throughout your lifetime. You don’t find leadership, leadership finds you. When you decide to become a leader, you work for the people.

You’re for your community, and it’s your job to help those around you find their potential, because I believe that leadership is community. And without community, there’s nothing to fight for and there’s nothing to leave behind.