2021 PTC PEI Scholarship
Congratulations to Aurora Ryder, PTC PEI's 2020-2021 scholarship recipient!
Aurora Ryder is a young, pansexual woman with a quick wit and a fondness for puns. She has been an avid and largely self-taught programmer since the age of ten: and hopes to use those skills to inspire positive change in the video game industry by promoting diversity and social change. As a victim of mental illness herself, Aurora’s biggest dream is to reach others by creating games that explore mental illness and teach healthy coping mechanisms. She has been accepted into the University of Prince Edward Island and is pursuing a Bachelor of Computer Science with a specialization in Video Game Programming. A jack of all trades, Aurora has worked as everything from Math Tutor to Mascot and - when she is not cursing at code - can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons, reading a good book, or writing bad poetry. She is a natural-born storyteller and an Honour Roll student. And ironic as it may be, Aurora, who is terrified of sea creatures and avoids seaweed like the plague, lives in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. She is teased relentlessly for this fear by her family of six and her girlfriend Nicole but still lives happily and contentedly among them.
To get to know Aurora better, we asked her a few questions:
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Aurora. I grew up in a small town and was homeschooled for most of my life except high school I decided to go to public school so that I could get a better math education. I taught myself to program because I was incredibly fascinated by video games and I just wanted to make something!
2. Why pursue tech?
My family has always been big into gaming, and I’ve always been fascinated by games ever since I was a kid. Then [as I grew up] I started to get into technology.
3 . What’s your dream job?
I would kill to be a video game programmer. And specifically I think it would be amazing if I could, like, if I had control over what I was making if I was an indie developer. And, like, if I could just be known for the things that I'm making. I think it would be really cool. [Finally,] I really want to make games about mental illness. That's, my dream job.
4. How will the PTC scholarship help you with your education?
I'll be honest, I grew up [with] not a lot of money. So definitely that this is just amazing to me. Because I can afford textbooks, that's a whole course right there [so] there's so much I can do with that - I don't have to worry [as] much about funding school I can just focus on being there.
Special thanks to the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Rotary for making this year's PTC PEI scholarship possible!