Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Choose901 Alumni to Watch: Zakiyah Walker

Zakiyah Walker, an alumni of Soulsville Charter School, is an ambitious, business minded student at Howard University. She’s a sophomore studying information systems and coding with dreams to innovate and create a better world. Next summer, she’ll be interning for Boeing in South Carolina in their IT Department. Even though she has a desire to work with technology, her heart also yearns to serve her Memphis community. Oh, the places she will go…

Why did you choose Howard University? What drew you there?

I chose Howard University because I wanted to go to an HBCU with a good Business program, and Howard checked off for both of those. I wanted to be in a new environment to challenge myself to be my best. After visiting Howard for Accepted Students’ Day, I was sold.  

Why are you passionate about Information Systems/Coding etc.? 

I am passionate about the technology world in general because of the flexibility that comes along with it. There are so many aspects to consider and various paths to choose from. Information Systems is a part of every business, so it is an industry with longevity.

You spent last summer working at Boys and Girls Club. Why was that something that was important for you to do? 

First off, I love the kids. I worked at the Boys and Girls Club the summer prior to last as well. For me, it’s home. Working at the Boys and Girls Club reminds me of why I strive to excel in anything I do. I want to show other boys and girls back home that there are opportunities for us to succeed and follow our dreams in any form we want. My plan is to show by example.

Who are/were central figures or role models that led you to your major?  

My parents are my biggest role models when it comes to my career goals because they are very supportive of my dreams and passions. My desire to go into the IT world was also inspired by Ms. Briahna Chambers, who spoke to my class about IT my senior year in high school. I never got connected or stayed in contact with her, but her story with IT just sparked an interest in IT for me.

What do you want to do with information systems or coding? 

Because there are so many options to choose from in technology, narrowing down my focus is a challenge. I have considered going into system analytics, user interface design, and cyber security. As of right now, I am looking into Cyber Security to help companies protect themselves from cyber-attacks.  

If there was one thing you learned by growing up in Memphis what was it?

Growing up in Memphis, I learned that you can always find love in your community. Even when my family moved from South Memphis to North Memphis, the love was still there. We all looked out for each other, and everybody was there whenever someone needed help.

Favorite thing about Memphis?

My favorite thing about Memphis is the wings and the river. Eating my wings at the river while the sun sets is pure happiness. I love going to Dixie Queen for wings because they are opened 24 hours.

We love bragging about the inspiring things our Choose901 alumni are up to. Got a story to share? Let us know. Send an email to joi@cityleadership.org.