Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi my name is Sanchita Kedia and I going to be a senior at the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) in Carson, California. I am the founder of Hack4Change (http://www.hack4change.org/), a Los Angeles based organization that aims to increase participation in computer science by holding workshops. I work on this with my amazing friends Haj, Erin, and Jared. I originally started Hack4Change in January after participating in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program. There, I finally learned that I did want to pursue computer science and by starting Hack4Change, I hoped to give others the opportunity I didn’t have to learn computer science before high school. After failed attempts, Hack4Change has had 4 workshops at schools, has partnered with the Engineer Factory on a workshop, and is about to begin holding workshops for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles!
Beyond Hack4Change, I have been learning Bharatanatyam, a style of Indian classical for 12 years, am on my school’s dance team, am my school’s ASB treasurer, and am lead programmer of my VEX Robotics team!
Fun Fact: When I was younger, I was confused between California and California Pizza Kitchen so when people would ask me where I was born, I would say California Pizza Kitchen 😦
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
NETFLIX, Codecademy, Stack Overflow, and Coursera
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code inspires me greatly. She has really taught me that failure helps you grow even though it hurts at first.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When I started high school, I took an intro to computer programming class and I absolutely loved it. After that, I decided to join a robotics team at my school, but I was very discouraged as I was not as advanced as many of the advanced male programmers. As a result, I quit and I joined another robotics team the following year where I did have more opportunities to code than I did on the previous team I was on. Still, I didn’t feel that I had what it took to become a strong programmer. After that, I participated in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program hosted by AT&T in Los Angeles. The program was a safe space for me to code with other girls with similar interests. It was there that I realized that I could pursue computer science as a major. Knowing the path was hard for me to feel I was good enough to pursue computer science, I started Hack4Change to encourage others and show them that they could pursue computer science.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I would tell them to not be afraid to be pushy to accomplish their goals.