“Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a senior at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas. Growing up, I had never considered computer science as a possible career path. I have always had an interest in literature and art but was not exposed to computer science until my junior year of high school, when I was placed in APCS. I immediately became interested in the course. The artistic side of me recognized the intrinsic beauty of a perfectly working piece of code. Since then I have had the opportunity to be involved with organizations such as Girls Who Code, NCWIT and She++. I co-founded an organization called Aspire in STEM, a program for local middle school girls aimed at closing the gender gap in STEM fields by empowering girls of the next generation to pursue STEM. I am also working on developing an iOS app that encourages teens to get involved with politics in the US.
Fun Fact: My best friend is my cat named Mila.
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
My favorite website is Vox, a news media platform. I admire how their ‘Explained’ videos make complex problems more digestible and how they work to help a broader range of people understand important world issues.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I find Maya Angelou incredibly inspiring. She is one of my favorite writers. I admire her for her work in the American Civil Rights Movement and for overcoming many obstacles relating to gender. I hope to one day have a fraction of the impact she has had. She inspires me to use my voice and advocate for what I believe in.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Last summer, I was determined to teach myself to write an iOS app. I had experience with Java and Python in the past. The problem was I had no experience with app development or Apple Swift. I spent hours watching video tutorials on Swift and browsing GitHub. After just a couple of days, I had learned an entirely new programing language and successfully created a minimum viable product. Computer science is an incredibly accessible field. Anyone with a computer, a desire to learn and some spare time can teach themselves how program. It was not anything I ever imagined myself doing but with patience and diligence you can do remarkably interesting and creative things with computer science.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Never allow yourself to be limited by your age. If you want to achieve something, think of how you can do it now rather than later. You do not have to be a certain age to do something amazing. All you need is an idea and passion.