Sarah Chun: “The most damaging phrase in the language is: It’s always been done that way.”- Grace Hopper
Cindy Xie: “I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Cindy Xie: Hey! My name is Cindy Xie, and I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Girls in TE, a non profit organization based in Canada. My partner and I, Sarah Chun, decided to start our organization because we noticed a lack of female tech organizations created solely for high school girls. From there, Girls in TE was created and it was one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Technology and gender diversity are just a few of the many things I’m passionate about.
Fun fact: Sarah and I, as graphic designers and hackers, are the perfect duo for hackathons!
Sarah Chun: Hi! My name is Sarah Chun, and I’m also the Co-Founder and CEO of Girls in TE (along with Cindy Xie). I am currently a sophomore at London Central Secondary School in London, Ontario, Canada. I am passionate about gender diversity in the STEM fields, eliminating poverty, and finding solutions for climate change.
Fun Fact: This past summer, I attended the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Outreach research program alongside Allgirlthm’s co-founders as well! (Click here to read about Allgirlthm’s Taylor Fang, Anne Li, and Joanna Liu.)
What # would define your life journey?
Sarah Chun: #GIRLBOSS
Cindy Xie: #WomeninSTEM
Favorite website / app:
Sarah Chun: My favourite website is Codecademy because it gives students all around the world the ability to easily learn any programming language.
Cindy Xie: My favourite app at the moment is LinkedIn, a business and employment oriented social networking service. Through this app, I can connect with others and learn about their career paths, challenges, and successes.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Sarah Chun: I am inspired by Grace “Amazing Grace” Hopper, one of the world’s first computer scientists and a pioneer of the field of computer science. She proved the world that females are capable of being great at programming and by being one of the first GIRLBOSSes ever.
Cindy Xie: While watching Dragon’s Den, I was introduced to a woman named Manjit Minhas, a Canadian entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Minhas Breweries & Distilleries, the ninth largest brewery in the world. Manjit has not only won several awards, such as the Top Entrepreneur Woman of 2011, but has also built an engineering school for girls in India.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Sarah Chun: When I was in the eighth grade, I decided to run for student council president after I realized that all of the other presidential nominees were males. I felt that I should lead as an example for young girls at my school by representing the female voices and to bring diversity into the executive decisions of the student body. After being elected as student council president, I felt empowered to continue being a female role model in my community, which led me to the creation of Girls in TE.
Cindy Xie: For 13 years, I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba. On March 1st, 2016, packed my bags and moved to London, Ontario. It was difficult because I missed my old friends and family. I also missed my clubs and activities I did. It was in Winnipeg that I established my background in technology through various clubs and camps. Luckily, in London, I made new friends that I consider to be my family today. My friends in London introduced the importance of female role leaders. I’ve attended several events that empower fellow female adolescents, such as the Build a Dream London. Sarah and I were so inspired that we decided to create an organization that inspires high school girls, called Girls in TE.
Sarah Chun: My dream job (at the moment) would be to become a neurosurgeon because it combines my love in both medicine and technology. There are many robotic surgical methods that are continually being created, and I would love to create my own neuro-surgical robot, one day.
Cindy Xie: Currently, my dream is to work in the medical field. The medical field has the ability to help others in need, whether it be mentally or physically. The medical field also consists of the latest technology, allowing me learn something new every day.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Sarah Chun: My advice to girls is to first explore an area or an issue that they are passionate about, and then research how you can contribute/ lead a solution.
Cindy Xie: My advice for other women to REIGN their lives would be to never stop trying and to follow your dreams. Follow what you love and stick to it. Persevere, create networks, and expand your horizons.
Sarah Chun is a 4.0 GPA Honour Student in the Gifted, Bright & Talented program, President of Eco Club, Executive of DECA Chapter, Member of Award Winning Science Olympics Team, Ward 13 Councillor at LYAC, and Violinist of London Youth Symphony.
Cindy Xie is a 4.0 GPA Honour Student, the CEO and Co-Founder of Girls in TE, an Environmental Club Executive, and an award-winning Graphic Designer.
Learn more about Girls in TE and co-founders Sarah Chun and Cindy Xie: