At first she thought it was a mistake.

When Megan Landau submitted her essay for the Google Women Techmakers Scholars Program in December, she thought there was no way she was going to be chosen.

Megan Landau (Provided)

Only 20 students in North America are selected to attend the prestigious program designed to encourage women in tech to excel and become role models in computer science.

She turned out to be wrong.

“I sat there waiting for someone to email me telling me it was a hoax or that I had just been scammed. It was honestly too good to be true.” says Landau, a senior majoring in computer science.

But it was true.

Landau spent part of her summer at the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat in Mountain View, California. During the retreat the scholars attended tech talks, networked with Google employees, participated in developmental activities and sessions and attended social activities with the other Google scholars.

“Besides being given career advice, resume help, and interviewing tips, the Google Scholars Retreat really just inspired me to do more,” says Landau. “I was so inspired by all of the talks and conversations that now I just want to inspire others to love computer science as much as I do.”

Recently, Landau and five other retreat participants formed a team to develop an open source project to benefit autistic children and adults. She says they are still in the planning and discovery stages, but hope to get the project started in a few weeks.

“I’m also incredibly proud to be a student at the College of Charleston and a part of our computer science department,” she says. “If someone had told me when I enrolled that I would be receiving a scholarship from Google after 2 years of study, I would have laughed at the joke. Our beautiful little department on the harbor was the perfect environment for me to learn the skills I needed and I am very grateful that I chose to go to CofC.”