theGrio’s 100: Brittney Exline, Ivy league prodigy makes history

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Brittney Exline (Courtesy Exline family)

Brittney Exline (Courtesy Exline family)

Who is Brittney Exline?

Brittney Exline, 20, is an extraordinary young woman.  At the age of 15, the Colorado Springs native became the youngest African-American female to be accepted into an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania.  Graduating at 19 with a degree in computer science, Exline was the youngest person ever to graduate from UPenn with an engineering degree and the nation’s youngest African-American engineer.  While at UPenn, she also obtained minors in psychology, classical studies, and math.

During high school, Exline danced and competed in many pageants.  A well-rounded individual, Exline has not only held teen pageant titles, but she can also speak 6 languages: Spanish, French, Japanese, Russian, Arabic and German.

Exline took anthropology courses at Harvard University while still in high school, and attained several prestigious internships while in college, including working on Wall Street at the age of 16 and One Laptop Per Child at 17.  She traveled to Cameroon with the nonprofit organization that offers low cost laptops with software to help educate and connect children in developing countries.

Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

Accompanying her personal academic achievements, Exline is committed to volunteering and sharing her love of education with young students.  While attending the University of Pennsylvania, she worked with the Freedom Schools of Philadelphia as a summer school teacher and trained tutors as site coordinator at West Philadelphia High School.

“I’m interested in education,” Exline said in an interview with Ebony. “There are a lot of things that need to be done. When I get the chance to go into that, I will make a difference.”

After graduating from UPenn, Exline accepted a software engineering position outside of Boston.

What’s next for Exline?

Currently working in the Boston area, Exline plans to return to school for a masters degree.  She has not yet decided what she plans to study or where.  When asked if she was considering a doctorate program, Exline told Ebony, “I don’t have any burning research questions I want to study for six or seven years.”

This high-achieving young woman has just started her career, and will surely continue to make history.