A high school senior in Cleburne is making history, achieving what no other female student at her school has ever done.
"It feels like the best accomplishment really, so far in my 18 years of living," said Amira Nolan, a star student in Cleburne High School's information technology classes.
A few weeks she passed a set of two exams, created by IT professionals, that validate she is ready for an entry-level IT job.
While other students have achieved CompTIA A+ certification, Nolan is the first female Career and Technical Education student at Cleburne High School to get her name on her instructor's Wall of Fame.
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"I only have one to three female students per year. And we've tried to attract more females into the program but it's still male-dominated. So that's what makes what Amira did so special is that she was super determined to get certified." said DeWayne Hawpe, the school's IT instructor.
"This opportunity has been sitting here for so long and no female has done it. Yeah, it feels great to be the first," Nolan said. "I believe really if you set your mind to it, you can do it. And that's exactly what I did. You just have to take the steps to get there. It's hard but the reward is great because it was hard."
When Nolan graduates in May, she'll take with her three years of experience in computer maintenance: troubleshooting, diagnosing, finding a solution. Then fixing the problem.
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Her instructor says she can walk out of high school and into a job that can pay $35,000 to $40,000 a year.
Overall in Texas, women fill about a quarter of IT jobs and earn less than their male counterparts, a 2020 study by Smart Asset showed.