Celebrating Diversity - Aaron Young

  • Aaron Young and family.

Celebrating Diversity: Aaron Young

Black History Month: February

In the College of Engineering, all are welcome. To better share the stories of how our faculty, staff, students and alumni are diverse in their many varying forms, we are celebrating various heritage and other nationally recognized months. This recognition will include stories about those in our greater engineering community, as well as sharing events and other opportunities.

Aaron Young

Major: Architectural Engineering

Aaron Young

Q: Describe a bit about your personal and/or professional background.

A: I am the youngest of my parents' two children. When in middle school, one of my teacher's spouses who is currently an engineer mentored me and a couple of other students while participating in the Society of American Military Engineers Student Military Program (SAME - SMP). My interest continued throughout high school, where I participated in the HDR Explorers Program.

Currently, I am a Mechanical Engineering intern at Morrissey Engineering where I have put my skills, acquired throughout the years, to good use. I am also in my third year of studies as an Architectural Engineering at UNL in The Durham School. The courses, although challenging, have proved to be very rewarding and will enable me to fulfill my dream to become an architectural engineer and eventually open my own firm.

Q: What is your role in the College of Engineering – and what do you enjoy (love!) about what you are doing?

A: I am a member of Nebraska Student Engineering Council Omaha (NESCO), Architectural Engineering Student Leadership Advisory Committee (AESLAC). Currently, I am trying to re-establish the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), with the help of the great Alma Ramirez-Rodgers. NESBE is a great outlet that can connect African-American students where long-lasting and impactful relationships can be established. I enjoy engineering because I get to impact not only our current generation but generations to come.

Q: Why is it important to celebrate one’s heritage? Why is it meaningful to you and your family? Is there a specific example/event/tradition of how you showcase or celebrate your heritage in its many forms?

A: It is important for me to celebrate heritage to recognize those who have come before me and advance in areas beyond what is expected of us. It allows us to look at where we came from and recognize the blood, sweat, and tears it took for them to pave the way for my brothers and sisters. How do you know where you're going if you don't know where you have come from?

Q: How do you bring your own unique background to your role/responsibilities in the college or your professional life?

A: When I was an elementary student, I was deemed a "troubled" student. Loud, un-teachable, and on-the-spectrum were just some of the adjectives given to me by the teaching staff. However, I have very engaged parents who made the decision to transfer me to another school, which put me on my current path. A path supported by my family and others that care for me, that connected to my goals of becoming an engineer that can make a difference in my community.

Q: What advice or words of wisdom could you share with others in our engineering community (staff, faculty, students, alums)?

A: As a Black man, the advice I can give to those of us who want to be an engineer is push. Move forward and use every avenue available to you for help in achieving your career. Do not be afraid of success. Have a strong work ethic, and let no man or woman stand in your way and tell you you can't. Though you may feel as though you are alone in this field, understand that we are the pioneers for the future. Remember to give back to the community that you have come from in order to support the aspirations of our future generations. Engage in on-campus organizations, connect with like-minded achievers, and be the student that engages with teachers on a deeper level. The work we do is hard, but it is worth it. God blesses the hand of the diligent.