Photo courtesy of Ada Puyot

The MLK Day celebration held on Jan. 14 brought about a collection of Tech’s students engaged in the observation of the Civil Rights Movement’s major leader. The festivity allowed for many students passionate about the arts, such as music to showcase their talents while honoring the late Dr. King.

One student that exemplified artistic talent at the celebration was second-year ME Ada Puyot, where she performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero” during “The Courage to Lead.”

Puyot is extremely passionate about music technology and civil rights, which led her to her participation in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

In addition to being a sister of Phi Mu, Puyot fills her time with meetings of the African American Student Union (AASU) and involvement with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Besides her on-campus commitments, Puyot has actively pursued the passion that brought her to the big stage at “The Courage to Lead” event since before she was even a teenager, crediting the support to follow her dreams to her mother.

“I used to sing as much as every little kid, but once my mom heard me she had me participating in contests all over Florida. For instance, when I was nine, I had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas for the USA World Showcase. While I did not win the entire thing, I won first place in my age group.”

While Puyot was fortunate enough to enter into an entertainment contract from 2009 to 2012, where she would sing all across her state and the country, her feelings towards her talent was not always positive.

“It took me a long time to come to terms with my talent, just because it made me miserable, and I would wish for my singing voice to go away because at the time it felt like my mom was forcing me to sing all the time,” Puyot said. “But I quickly learned that what my mom was doing was what she thought would be best for me as her child.

Attending an institution like Tech in a city like Atlanta has allowed for Puyot to explore new outlets and applications of her talent that she hopes will take her further in chasing her passion.

“Right now my plan, as in what I would like to do, is work with music technology — all of the components that go into production and sound, such as speakers, microphones and even computer machinery that deal with sound,” Puyot said. “Given that I have experience in music equipment, but I would have a degree in engineering, I would love to be involved in the testing part of the equipment. I want to be able to go out in the music field and find where we need to see improvements on the technology we already have.”