#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Patricia Ornelas

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a first-year student majoring in Computer Science at Tufts University in Medford, MA. I am a Mexican immigrant who came to the California with my family to pursue the “American Dream.” Because of all of my family’s sacrifices to get me here, I have done everything in my power to take advantage of opportunities. After an IT summer program at UC Berkeley, I participated in Girls Who Code. This 7-week summer program sparked my interest in software engineering. I like to make websites, like this one http://patricianoj.github.io/ which I actually started creating at Girls Who Code. I want to continue to pursue a career in technology, while helping more underrepresented minorities do so as well. I am also heavily involved in social justice movements, because I am deeply concerned with current social issues that the world is facing. I hope to use technology to combat some of these social injustices.

What # would define your life journey?
#PrideAndPurpose. My hometown’s motto.

Favorite website / app:
Snapchat, because that’s how I keep in touch with my close friends and family even when I’m 3000 miles away.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Galyn Susman, who I met at Pixar while I was there with Girls Who Code, told me that I shouldn’t feel like I have to represent my ethnicity, or gender, or any other group. I can only be myself and I must represent that with honesty and integrity.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Work by Rihanna

Ideal Job:
I would love to be a software engineer at a tech company. It has always been a dream of mine to work at a company that is involved in social justice movements. Tech companies are doing more to keep in mind ethical repercussions of technology. I generally think I’d thrive in the kind of atmosphere that tech companies provide their employees.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Be more assertive. This is something I am working on doing more of. Don’t allow the female stereotype to hold you back. All stereotypes (whether considered positive or negative) about people like me have made me feel restricted, as if my identity has to either go with or go against a stereotype. I’ve been working on just being myself and not letting others’ expectations or generalizations rule my life.

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