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Ally Moore standing with a Texas A&M recruiter and her high school principal.
Ally Moore (right) stands at a senior ceremony with her principal, Denisha Presley (left), and a Texas A&M University recruiter (middle) at Lehman High School, where students declared which school they would be attending after graduation. | Image: Courtesy of Ally Moore

Though sophomore chemical engineering student, Ally Moore, had a start at Texas A&M University that was unlike some peers, her experience has emboldened her perspective as an Aggie engineer and allowed her to embrace her diversity.

Moore began her academic career in the Chevron Engineering Academy at Austin Community College — a co-enrollment program that gives students an option to enroll in mathematics, science and core curriculum classes at a community college for up to two years, providing them a cheaper alternative to immediately enrolling at Texas A&M. Since then, Moore has been able to further expand her opportunities, even earning a spot in the Zachry Leadership Program (ZLP) that grants scholarship money and focuses on enriching students’ leadership abilities.

“Like many, I fell in love with the traditions, comradery and welcoming atmosphere of Texas A&M and knew this was the place for me,” Moore said. “As the time grew near for me to make a decision, the price of tuition seemed quite daunting and I decided to apply for the Chevron Engineering Academy.”

Unfortunately, Moore felt a little embarrassed for initially choosing to go to the Chevron Engineering Academy in lieu of attending Texas A&M as a full-time student. She said that explaining that she was attending community college to her friends that were going to Ivy League schools after graduation and had similar GPAs was the last thing she wanted.

“After getting into the engineering academy though, I realized I was looking at it all wrong,” Moore said. “The engineering academy gave me this unique opportunity to stay close to home for an extra year, save myself from a lot of student debt and get the same classes I would right here in College Station.”

During the program, Moore was able to meet people from various cultural backgrounds and different life experiences. She found that it was a program for everyone, as those from her cohort either served the country, worked full-time to make ends meet, were parents or faced great adversity to get where they are today.

I was and am still in awe of the wonderful souls that I met during my time at the engineering academy and am inspired by their strength and passions.

Ally Moore

After transitioning full-time to Texas A&M, Moore was accepted into the ZLP program along with 31 others from her cohort.

“It is refreshing to have an atmosphere where I can be vigorously honest and open about my life experiences, values and passions while getting to know each individual on a deeper level as they express their authentic self to me,” Moore said.

Within these experiences and her own role as a female engineer, she realizes the importance of what she is doing in breaking down the stigmas attached to women in the engineering field.

“It is so empowering to see other women pursuing their dream in engineering as our generation tears down these preconceived notions about the ideal image of who an engineer should be or look like,” Moore said. “Diversity opens up new doors for growth and innovation that couldn’t be brought to the table before. When we allow diversity to spread its roots, new authentic leaders can be formed throughout all engineering industries.”

Through the bonds she is able to make in ZLP and her classes at Texas A&M, Moore continues growing and excelling beyond the expectations required of her.