BHS Sophomore Has Sights Set High

BHS Sophomore Has Sights High as Engineer & Entrepreneur
Posted on 02/17/2023
BHSMahoganie Wilson-Little, a sophomore at Bloomfield High School, is clear about her future: She wants to be a petroleum engineer- and then start her own gas company.
The 16-year-old High Honors student – all A’s - is well on her way.

She was selected last fall to participate as a panelist at the National Science Foundations' Advanced Technological Education conference in Washington, D.C. It was a conference for community- college students that also brought together engineering companies, colleges, energy advocates and research funders.

Mahoganie Wilson-Litttle

Mahoganie was the only high school student – 15, at the time - among the panel of community- college students from across the country. She was chosen by representatives at Tunxis Community College to be a panelist – all expenses paid by the school.

Mahoganie’s presentation was on petroleum engineering, and how High-Honors high school students can use community colleges to advance their education and professional careers. 

While at BHS, she has participated in college-level engineer-related classes offered by Gateway Community College and Tunxis Community College.  BHS teacher Andrew Angle, Mahoganie’s mentor, recommended that she take the TCC courses, after seeing how well she performed with the Gateway courses.

“Mahoganie is exceptional for her age,” Angle said. “She has learned the value of pursuing science and thinking about her future career. She’s really good about putting together milestones and setting realistic goals - as well as fanciful ones. She has a long-term goal, but also sets attainable short-term goals.”

Her love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – known as STEM - is traced to a STEM-related after-school program at Metacomet Elementary School. From there, Mahoganie began doing research on the sector and found that petroleum engineers are very well paid, but it was a field with few people of color.

She was hopeful that her presentation in D.C. would begin to change those demographics.

“I wasn’t intimidated or nervous because I knew what I was talking about,” said Mahoganie, who is also a student bank teller at Windsor Federal Savings’ BHS branch. “I’ve noticed that not a lot of Black women, or Black people, are part of the petroleum engineering field. It is dominated by White men. I felt if I could go and present this project and show I am capable of being in a career in a male-dominated field that I could help make a change – and allow other Black young ladies who want to be an engineer to have that door open for them.’’

Mahoganie is from a family of entrepreneurs and educators. Both her parents - Will Little III and Leslie Wilson – are entrepreneurs. Mahoganie’s Great Uncle, David Wilson, is president of Morgan State University - one of the colleges that Mahoganie has interest in attending after she graduates. Tuskegee University in Alabama, and Spelman College in Atlanta, are the others.

BHS Principal Jesse White describes Mahoganie as “the quintessential student” because she excels in both her “curricular and extracurricular endeavors.”

As the world makes a transition from gas to electric-powered vehicles, Mahoganie is not deterred by her career choice. Gas and oil, she says, are here to stay – particularly in third-world countries and as trade commodities.

“Electric is not so dependable because it’s not from the source. It is not from the earth,” she said. “So, you can’t really rely on it. A lot of these cars, you charge them up, but as time goes on the power is decreasing. So, let’s say you’re in the middle of nowhere and there’s a gas station two miles away. You can’t charge your Tesla, because your Tesla does not take natural gas. So, I thought this job (as petroleum engineer) will always need people to be there because gas and oil are used for everything.”

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