Immigrant student overcomes obstacles:

By Lauren Ebben:

Aileen Delgado moved from Mexico to Amarillo when she was only six years old. But the move wasn’t the only challenge Delgado faced.

As an engineering and computer science major at Amarillo College, Aileen Delgado has big dreams. “I would love to be a game developer for a big company, like Riot,” she said. But even the biggest dreamers started small.

“Learning English was the most challenging thing for me,” she said, noting she didn’t know a word of English before she moved to the States.

Delgado said that fortunately she had a little help with the transition from her best friend, Brooke Hewitt, an accounting major at Texas Tech University.

“We met in the fourth grade,” Hewitt said. “She was wearing an Inuyasha shirt. I yelled, ‘I know where that’s from?’ and we didn’t stop talking after that. She’s still my best friend nine years later.”

Despite the distance between the two, they are still talking. Delgado even went down to Lubbock to visit Hewitt at Texas Tech.

Hewitt described her longtime friend as self-motivated. “She’s the one person I know that usually says she’s going to do something and actually does it.”

Michaela Hunter, a mathematics major at the University of   Texas in Arlington and friend of Delgado, agreed. “She’s very meticulous and determined when it comes to goals, especially long term,” Hunter said.

Now a full-time student at Amarillo College, Delgado is starting her future as a part of the computer science and engineering program. “I love computers,” she said. “I want to develop games.”

Delgado isn’t the traditional computer science student.   According to data collected by, only 17.6 to 28 percent of computer science employees are female. But the significant absence of women isn’t the only challenge about this degree.

“Coding is very easy to mess up,” Delgado said. “And if you mess up just one comma your whole program is ruined.”

Hunter thinks Delgado will do great. “She definitely has the determination to pursue that field,” Hunter said.

The AC program offers the first two years of a four-year degree in computer science, software engineering or computer engineering. After completing her first two years, Delgado plans to transfer to a university to finish her bachelor’s. She is considering Georgia Tech, the University of Colorado at Boulder or the University of Texas at Dallas.

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