I'm A Girl Who Codes





Posts tagged with ‘nyc’

Olivia Shannon: Turning Wishes Into Reality.


“If you know how to code, you don’t have to say ‘I Wish.’” - Olivia Shannon

Meet Olivia Shannon, a New Yorker who loves gaming, Netflix, boxing, horror movies, writing, art and music. She learned to code and is planning to major in computer science to enhance all of her passions and ensure that she never has to say “I Wish” about any of the things she’d like to create. Through code, Olivia has learned to embrace her failures as a way to better herself. 

Read more about Olivia, her mentors and how she’s combining her passions with code in our Q&A below. 

Q&A with Olivia:

Tell us about your Girls Who Code experience. 

It may sound cheesy, but changed my life. When I started the , I expected to spend 7 weeks competing with 40 other girls in a field that I wasn’t totally sure I would excel in. I was scared to fail, scared that I wouldn’t make any meaningful friendships, and scared that computer science just wouldn’t be for me. 

And were your fears realized?

The friendships I made during those 7 weeks are ones I still happily maintain today, and each of them was built on helping to lift each other up instead of tearing each other down through petty competition. The program taught me not only to accept failure, but to embrace it and use it to better myself. It shifted my whole mindset from avoiding obstacles to facing them head on. 

Do you think learning to code in a different environment would have changed your experience?

My high school is really competitive and failure isn’t accepted as okay. Girls Who Code taught me that it’s okay to fail. If your best is failure, that’s fine, too.

How has accepting failure helped you? 

It’s clearly apparent in the way my grades have skyrocketed since attending the .  

What did you want to be growing up? 
I wanted to be an artist growing up, I even dressed up as Georgia O'Keefe, my favorite artist, for career day! 

What do you want to be now?
Now, I want to be the founder of a start-up and help make way for other women to join the ranks of this century’s computer science pioneers as well.

Do you think coding is artistic? 

Yes, that’s why I am applying to major in computer science. I can use my passion for art and writing and have a dynamic and competitive career.

What was the hardest part of learning to code?
I was terrified that I’d have to compete with everyone else in the program, and that I wouldn’t be good enough. But everyone was happy to help when I asked questions, and it was okay to mess up. I learned that when you’re programing, you’re going to make a thousand mistakes before you get it right. 

Why is it important to teach girls computer science?

As with anything, diversity breeds ingenuity. Having only one, small demographic in a field creates a smaller range of perspectives. But when people of different genders and cultures get involved, innovative solutions come up. 

Has coding made you feel more confident?

Coding has given me so many opportunities that I feel like I can do anything! In the past two months, I’ve made websites, apps, and even helped design the at his fashion show. There are so many options out there for programmers because the skill is in demand. It gives you the freedom to explore what you want to do. 

How does code tie to your other passions? 

I love gaming, watching horror movies, watching Netflix, reading and writing. I also love music and have a pretty varied taste - I’ll listen to anything from classical to pop punk. Code has created - or enhanced - all of these things. 

I also box to stay active and use Nike Running and Fitbit to track my workouts. Based on what my app is telling me my body is doing, I’ll change my workouts. 

You’re heading to college in the fall. What are you most afraid of in Freshman year? 

I am a pretty quirky person. I’m scared to meet new people but I also love putting myself out there. 

What are you most excited for?

I can’t wait to live in a dorm and have a roommate and take whatever classes I want! If I want to take a philosophy class as a computer science major, I can do that. I can expand my own learning as I see fit. 

Who are your role models?

, who was one of the first actresses and was a pioneer of wireless communications.

What advice would you give to a girl to inspire her to learn to code?

No matter what you’re interested in, knowing how to code will make it better for you and make it more fun. Code can enhance whatever your interests are. If you know how to code, you don’t have to say “I Wish.” You can create things without having to wait for anyone else. 

Follow Olivia:

  • snapchat:

Interested in learning how to code?

Erik Nauman: Teacher Who Codes


“I was a teacher before I learned how to code. I became interested because it looked like a skill that offered huge possibilities for being creative. I saw people making and programming robots and coding graphical animations and thought it looked like a superpower, a way to make magical things happen with machines.” - Erik Nauman

Meet Erik Nauman, an educational technologist - someone who works in educational technology - at The Hewitt School in New York City. He helped start a local  to ensure that his students became part of the larger women in technology network. 

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, we interviewed Erik and learned about some of his passions outside of technology along with his favorite parts of technology.

Q&A with Erik Naumann:

What was your dream job growing up?

I wanted to be an artist or a musician. 

What do you do now?

Now, I work at The Hewitt School in NYC in educational technology. 

Were you always interested in computers?

No, I really only became interested in computers in the past 10 years. Growing up, I was most interested in art, music, teaching, learning, and nature.

Why did you join the Girls Who Code movement?

I wanted to give my students the feeling of belonging to a greater community of girls in computer science.


Do you sense a fear or insecurity around learning to code from your students? How does being in an all female environment affect that?

In my experience teaching at an all girls school, I do see many girls feeling intimidated when they see code and are expected to work with it. However, there are many who also find it amazing and exciting to learn. I feel like those who get intimidated are seeing it through stereotypes that tell them girls are not able to code, are not good with computers, math, or science. When I teach, I expose my students to programming in interesting and fun ways so that over time they’ll see coding as a normal and thing to do, just like writing or reading.

Why did you learn to code?

I was a teacher before I learned how to code. I became interested because it looked like a skill that offered huge possibilities for being creative. I saw people making and programming robots and coding graphical animations and thought it looked like a superpower, a way to make magical things happen with machines.

What was the hardest part of learning to code?

Learning the basic, common concepts shared by many programming languages took a while for me. However, having an understanding of those concepts makes it easier to learn any new language I want to.

Did you ever encounter people who stereotyped you because you code?

People have made the assumption that I can make technology do anything because I can code. I have had to be patient in helping people understand what is reasonable and what is possible.

Has coding made you more confident?

It has opened up creative possibilities that I like to share with people, which has made me happier.

Has coding helped you accept failure?

I had a hard time learning to wire and program an LED matrix. It was really complicated for me and after a couple weeks I gave it up. But later I picked it up again and figured out how to make it work, and eventually it turned into a fun project that was very successful.


Is coding creative? How?

Absolutely! There are usually many ways to do something so just finding solutions to coding problems is a creative process.

Who is your role model?


What’s your favorite piece of advice from your role model?

It’s not so much what she said, but that she considers the big picture in her approach to software development. She always thought about how it will be used and safeguarded to make it dependable under different conditions. That is how her software saved the .

What’s your favorite piece of technology?

I love to work with Arduino micro controllers.


Follow Erik:

Interested in being a teacher for Girls Who Code?

Margot Richaud: First Generation Coder


“With code, I was able to create a video game to raise awareness on gun control laws. The video game is called Gun Cleaners, and players use the up and down arrows to collect the assembly’s votes to help pass the gun control bill while avoiding being shot by guns. With a fun and addicting video game, we were able to help raise awareness about one our society’s most pressing problems.” - Margot Richaud

Meet Margot Richaud, one of the stars of our new YouTube Series, “My Code!” Margot is a 17 year-old from New York City. She’s the first person in her family to go to college and just received a Gates Millennium Scholarship for college. Margot plans to use her coding abilities to make a social impact - by educating people about gun laws and space debris - and one day hopes to start her own school that teaches computer science.

Learn more about Margot in our Q&A below and on

Q&A with Margot Richaud:

What’s your favorite subject?

My favorite subject is Computer Science. Ever since I learned how to code Computer Science has become more than just a subject, it has become my passion. I love that I can feed my curiosity of technology and be able to code fun video games, apps, websites, and so much more!

What was your dream job growing up?

Growing up, I wanted to be everything! I wanted to be an actor, veterinarian, dancer, and the typical jobs every kid would say. But the only job I truly remember pretending to be was a teacher. When I was little, I had a small black chalkboard and I would sit my dolls as if they were in a classroom. I would pretend to be a teacher and teach them the lesson I had learned earlier in school that day. I loved being able to teach my “students” and share my knowledge with them.

What’s your dream job now?

When I entered high school and took a computer science class, I realized I want to be a computer programmer. I have been coding for the past four years and I plan on expanding my programming skills in college to be a computer programmer!

You’re the first person in your family to go to college. How does that feel?

I am in the process of breaking my family’s barriers and going beyond their experiences and expectations. No one in my family has ever coded, much less heard about coding! When I told my family I loved coding and plan on majoring in Computer Science at college, they were stunned. It’s scary but also really exciting at the same time.

What made you join the Girls Who Code movement?

I was always surrounded by technology and never understood how it worked. Filled with curiosity, I questioned my family a lot about technology. Unfortunately, I never got any answers due to their lack of knowledge and understanding of how technology actually worked.

It wasn’t until my freshman year in high school that I became the first person in my family to know how to code. I joined the movement because I loved coding. Even though I knew how to code a little bit in Adobe Flash CS6, I craved for more knowledge. The Summer Immersion Program helped support and encourage me to follow my dream. I may not be fluent in coding but I do have a passion to become proficient at it.

Did you always like computers?

I was always interested in computers! I remember when I was elementary school, my mom would either take me to the park or let me play games on the computer after I finished my homework.

Whenever I used and played games on the computer, I couldn’t stop wondering how it was possible to make a computer function and see all of those cool animations in the games. All we have to do is push the power button to turn on the computer and push the arrow keys during the game, but there must be sooo much more behind it. It wasn’t until I learned how to code that I finally had the answer to the wonders of how computers and video games functioned. Even though I really don’t know how to code a computer yet, I at least know the gist of why computers work!

Do you think coding is creative?

Coding is beyond creative! With code you can create almost anything that comes to your mind. You can code a video game, app, website, and even a robot! During the , I was able to code a robot that danced to “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd. With code, I was able to create a video game to raise awareness on gun control laws. The video game is called Gun Cleaners, and players use the up and down arrows to collect the assembly’s votes to help pass the gun control bill while avoiding being shot by guns. With a fun and addicting video game, we were able to help raise awareness about one our society’s most pressing problems.

What’s the hardest part of learning to code?

The hardest part of learning  to code is not getting it right the first time, but that is a huge part of coding. When I was first learning how to code in Java, I kept forgetting to place a semi-colon at the end of some statements. There will be many times when our code does not function, but it’s only up to you to take the challenge and work to fix the error.

Have you ever experienced stereotypes as a girl who codes?

I go to an all girls school and my computer science class is filled with all girls. However, there are times when I wonder what it would be like to be in a co-ed computer science class. Eventually, I am going to have to code and work in a co-ed environment but I’m glad that I started to learn to code in an all-female nurturing environment.

How has coding made you more confident?

I have learned to be okay with failing. Additionally, I am one of the few percent of women and latinas who know how to code and that is amazing. Being a girl who codes is truly empowering. My programming skills helped me create and grow, making me more confident in my abilities and myself.

Tell us about a time you overcame failure.

I honestly have overcome many failures. At the end of the day, how I got back up is what truly matters. After I fail, I work twice as hard the next time so I don’t crash again. It it my persistence and strong ambition that motivates me to do better.

Which of your recently used emojis describes you perfectly?

💩 ⭐️ 👑 . The poop emoji is the most used in my keyboard haha. I am the one who greets my friends with the 💩 emoji and call them my “poopers”. Also, instead of cursing (which I don’t) I use 💩 emoji haha. The ⭐️  represents me because I think of myself as a ⭐️. I always work my hardest so I can win wear the 👑 .

What’s your favorite piece of technology?

My absolute most favorite piece of technology is my phone! I think it is beyond amazing how I can communicate with my friends, take pictures, play games, and keep updated on the world with just my phone!

Who is your role model?

My mom is my #1 role model! She is the most hard working, loving, and inspiring person in my life. She is a single mother who takes care of two kids, works for hours, and always pushes me to do my best. My mom is the one to put her kids before her, she prefers to give us the best because she wants us to have what she may have not always had. The stories she tells me about her past, sacrifices, and moments of struggle motivate me to have a successful future so I can finally take care of her. Apart from being my mom, she is also my best friend. I have such an amazing relationship with my mother because we joke around like little kids, talk in funny voices, share gossip, and obsess over clothes.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from your mom?

The best piece of advice my mom ever gave me was, “trabaja duro, lucha por lo mejor, y nunca te des por vencida.” Which translates to: “Work hard, strive for the best, and never give up.” My mom has always told me that the decisions I make about my life will only affect me. If I decide to work hard or not, that will only affect me and my future. Whether I continue striving for the best or give up, it will also affect my future. I only have one life and I must make the best out of it.

What would you say to the girl who thinks coding is not for her?

I would tell her, “Maybe. But have you actually tried coding?” Coding probably seems and sounds geeky, hard, and not something a girl would usually do. Then I would say, “Keep going at it, girl!” Never give up because you find something too hard. Once you get it right, all the struggle will be worth it.


Follow Margot:

  • Instagram: @mar.richaud
  • Twitter: @MargotRichaud
  • Snapchat: @mar_margooot
  • Pinterest: @LittleMargot 
  • Linkedin: Margot Richaud

Interested in learning how to code like Margot?

Leslie Landis: Popcorn & Pop Culture Enthusiast


“My parents always say I can’t go without my phone and I always answer back with yes I can. One day I thought to myself, can I?” ~Leslie Landis

Meet Leslie Landis, a 16 year-old from New York City who has a popcorn addiction, counts YouTube and Project Runway as her guilty pleasures and  as an experiment to see how much her life depended on technology. After her cell phone fast, Leslie wants to use her coding ability to educate the world about global issues. 

Read more about Leslie in our Q&A.

Q&A with Leslie Landis:

What does the Girls Who Code movement mean to you?

Before Girls Who Code, I never saw myself as a coder or an engineer. gave me not just valuable coding skills but a valuable opportunity: to see myself in a whole new way. Now, I see myself as someone who can take on a big industry regardless of the gender gap. I am a more able, confident, and ambitious girl with big dreams and I want to share that with everyone around the world. 

What was your dream job growing up? What’s your dream job now? 

Growing up, I wanted to be on Project Runway and start my own fashion empire. I loved Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn so much and i still watch that show!

Now, I want to be the CEO of my own social media empire. 

Why do you want to be a CEO?

I love being a leader and helping people get to their end goal. In group projects, I like guiding people through every step. 

Why did you apply to the Summer Immersion Program?

I thought that coding would be a very helpful life skill, especially since I want to start my own company. 

Did you always like computers?

Growing up, computers were just for doing my homework. I wasn’t really that interested in computers until I realized that there was a whole industry around it.

Do people ever stereotype you for being a girl who codes?

When I tell my friends that I like to code, I’m put in a “STEM” bubble. I’m so much more than that, though. I’m a writer, a reader and I love art. I’m not just the girl who codes.

What was the hardest part of learning to code?

It’s making sure not to second guess my talent. I’ve had to learn to trust myself.

Why do you think it’s important to teach girls computer science?

I think that computer science has been unfairly labeled as a boy’s job just because it falls under a STEM category and not a Humanities category. It’s the 21st century, but girls and are still growing up in a world where they’re told that they cant go into STEM or they’re not naturally good at math and science. Teaching girls computer science is the first step to breaking these labels of what boys are good at and what girls are good at. 

How has coding made you feel more confident?

In school, when I’m intimidated about a new project or subject, I think back to when I first learned to code and how intimidated I felt. Everyone starts off as a beginner. 

Do you think coding is creative?

People assume that STEM is very strict and computational but it’s actually really creative. You have to think outside the box and be creative in the way that you problem solve.

What problems do you want to solve with code?

I like the impact that social media has on people because news spreads faster and people are more easily informed about global topics and issues. 

With that being said, will you ever give up your phone again?

IT WAS SOOO HARD but I learned a lot about how reliant I am on my phone and technology in general. I’m not sure if I’d choose to do it again. 

Follow Leslie:

  • Snapchat: xoxoluvleslie

Interested in learning how to code?

Jessica Valarezo: Late to the Game, But Still On Time


“If you were to put a couple people next to each other and solve a CS problem, none of their code would look the same. Code allows you to insert your personality into it.” ~Jessica Valarezo

Jessica Valarezo is giving back through code. As the daughter of two Ecuadorian immigrants, Jessica is working on a health app to assist people who don’t speak English as a first language in choosing their healthcare benefits. She started a at Columbia University, where she’s majoring in Computer Science, because she wanted ensure that she was inspiring other young women to break the gender gap in tech and pursue their dreams through Computer Science. 

Read more about Jessica in our Q&A.

Q&A with Jessica Valarezo:

Why did you start a Girls Who Code club at Columbia? 

I decided to start a club after I’d been a teacher’s assistant for the and wanted to continue mentoring young women in Computer Science. I co-founded the club with Deborah Altaras, Jackie Hall, Nicole Valencia, and Lauren O'Connor. It has been up and running since last January - for a year.

What made you apply to be a TA for Girls Who Code?

I found the job posting on a CS list serve at Columbia. I wished I had done something like this in high school - well I did do something like this in high school when I attended a program at MIT. I really looked up to the MIT students who taught me. I wanted to share that experience with other people and give back. The impact you can have on someone’s life in one summer at is so impressive. 

Tell us more…

My experience with Girls Who Code had a meaningful impact in 2 ways. 

First, I felt the barrier to entry to studying Computer Science very deeply. I’ve always been confident in any subject I wanted to study, but when I wanted to study CS, I felt behind. The perception was that it was hard. Then, when you walk into a classroom and you’re the woman, it’s harder because more eyes are on you. With a support network from other people who are experiencing something similar, I gained confidence in my abilities. 

Second, the impact that Girls Who Code has on high school girls is immense. I wish I’d had something like this when I was in high school. The program is non-intimidating and safe. It breaks any stereotypes about what being a coder is. You can see the technical and emotional progress that each girl develops over the course of a summer. A lot of my students wouldn’t have had this opportunity otherwise. It was a game changer for them.

I feel like I’m paying it forward with Girls Who Code. 

What do you want to do with your Computer Science degree?

I’d like to be an intern at a software engineering company. I’m interested in the intersection of education and tech and would like to work in education technology. 

Did you always love computers?

Since kindergarten, I was always on sports teams. My computer was always just part of getting work done or functioning on a day-to-day basis. 

Is coding creative?

Of course. If you were to put a couple people next to each other and solve a CS problem, none of their code would look the same. Code allows you to insert your personality into it.

What was the hardest part of learning to code?

Honestly, it’s syntax. I learned to code in Java, which is a horrible language to program in - in my opinion. You’re having to learn variables and syntax so you don’t know if it’s your logic or your syntax that’s wrong. For a new student, that’s really difficult. 

How has coding made you feel more confident?

I can create tangible products, which is so cool to me! I don’t have to pay someone else to make my idea for me and have control and ownership of my ideas. All industries are moving in a tech heavy direction. To not understand what’s going on behind the scenes puts you at a disadvantage. 


How does coding tie to your passions?

I’m working on an app - which is just called “health” for now - with my sister who works in healthcare. When my sister started working in healthcare, she kept having to give recommendations to people because she was more aware of the options. Also, many people didn’t speak English as their first language. My sister created an algorithm that tells you how much a healthcare plan will cost based on your BMI. Based off of this healthiness indicator, we’re literally calculating what plan will be less expensive for individuals. The app was JUST accepted by Columbia’s accelerator!

It’s fun to work on this with my sister because we compliment each other and think the other one is brilliant. That’s what made me realize that I really enjoy Computer Science. I’ve spent all my time working on this project. What’s amazing is that It’s something that I can create with my current skills. I can’t wait to expand my skills so I can dive into something even more complex. 

What advice would you give to a girl to inspire her to learn to code?

Why not try? What’s the worst that could happen?

Interested in learning to code like Jessica?

Kyra Haly: proving that gender and race are not a disgrace.


“As a person of color and as a girl, I felt like I have had to work twice as hard as the next person. As the saying goes, though, actions speak louder than words. By learning to code I am showing the world what I can do and causing people to do a double take.” - Kyra Haly

Meet Kyra Haly, a 17 year-old from Brooklyn who loves puppies and wants to create the Web MD for all of your pet maladies. During her summer with Girls Who Code, she created an app, called , to educate teenagers about politics. With her “YES, I can” attitude and ability to code, she’s showing the world that she’s not limited by her gender or her race.

Read more about Kyra in our Q&A!

Q&A with Kyra Haly:

What did you want to be when you were 7? What do you want to be now?

I don’t really remember what I wanted to be when I was 7– I don’t even remember what I ate for dinner last night. 

In the future, I’m open to handling whatever life throws at me and any opportunities that come my way. Currently, combining veterinary science with computer science is my dream field. 

You’re applying to college now, what do you want to study?

Even after Girls Who Code, I wouldn’t describe myself as a techy person. I do plan to study computer science in college, though. I am interested in animal sciences as a major and computer science as a minor. sa

I’ve been told that animal sciences and computer science are unrelated but I would like to somehow combine the two. It would be cool to create an app that helps with finding out information about your animal, like wed MD. 

Do you have pets?
I’ve never had a pet in my life, but my family members and best friends have pets. If I had a dog, I would have a Dachshund! Who doesn’t love a warm, fluffy package of sunshine in the form of puppies?! 

Why did you apply for Girls Who Code?

Curiosity in its purest form made me apply. I never thought about coding In my school because it seemed like you had to be a part of a secret society to know about programs like Girls Who Code. Surprisingly, my mom found out about Girls Who Code one day from my school’s parent coordinator. She told me about it, and I said, “Sure, why not?”

Does Girls Who Code feel like a secret society

It does and it doesn’t. It does because all girls who code have a secret power that guys don’t believe we have. It’s doesn’t because we want to share the idea that women can code.

What’s the hardest part of learning to code?

It’s seeing where you went wrong–aka debugging. It can be the slightest typo, such as a missing semi colon at the end of a function that makes your whole code not work. You feel like the world is over, TRUST ME– but don’t worry the Mayans didn’t predict it yet. 

Why should girls learn to code?

Not many girls, including myself, were exposed to it or given the extra push to say to themselves "I can handle coding.” There is a huge need to encourage girls to maximize their wide ranges of possibilities in the things they are capable of doing, not just code. If a girl can tackle computer science, she can do anything. 

How has coding made you feel more confident?

As a person of color and as a girl, I felt like I have had to work twice as hard as the next person. As the saying goes, though, actions speak louder than words. By learning to code I am showing the world what I can do and causing people to do a double take. 

Through code, I can create whatever I want! I always have a million ideas running through my head at the speed of light, but I never know what to do with them. Now, I’m not afraid to frantically write them on a post it and share with others for feedback and development. 

Coding has also made me feel more confident in studying science. I’ve been a humanities student for practically my whole life. I was never really the best or fastest learner in any STEM related subjects and was beginning to give up. After learning to code at the Summer Immersion Program, I learned to keep trying. 

Tell us about a time you overcame failure?

As I walked into the room for my callback audition to be admitted to LaGuardia High School’s acting program, my knees became weak and my arms became spaghetti. I froze, forgot my lines, and had to improvise for my whole 3 minute audition. As I walked out of the room, I knew that I had failed at my dream of attending LaGuardia. 

However, I’m glad things turned out the way they did because I couldn’t be happier in my current high school. Failure led me to my success today. I’ve made amazing friends and even got to take a few acting classes for free college credits! Most importantly, I found out about Girls Who Code from the school that I am attending. Sometimes in life things may not work out the way we originally planned, but don’t fear because good things can and will be in store!

What have you created with code?

I made a game called  for my final project during the Summer Immersion Program. Most teenagers don’t know about politics but know about Donald Trump so we created a game with cultural relevance that teaches teenagers about politics. It’s cool to show someone the game now.

What advice would you give to inspire another girl to learn to code?

Just do it. There’s literally no reason not to. Everything is saying “Yes, you can!”

What else should we know about you? 

if you see me and I’m not on the verge of bursting out in laughter, not already laughing, or not smiling, it wasn’t me.

Follow Kyra:

  • Snapchat : kyrahaly

Tai Cruz: artist, social activist & a girl who codes.


“Growing up, the idea of a woman - especially one who is half Black, half Hispanic - going into the technology field was unheard of. I remember watching TV and seeing only guys working with the computers.” - Tai Cruz

Meet Tai Cruz, a 17 year-old art and computer-science lover from NYC. Self-described as creative, avant-garde and open-minded, she is determined to break the norms of her gender and her half Hispanic, half Black background!

Q&A with Tai Cruz:

What Interested You In Girls Who Code?

Growing up, the idea of a woman - especially one who is half Black, half Hispanic - going into the technology field was unheard of. I remember watching TV and seeing only guys working with the computers. I knew I had a love for technology but my family didn’t have a lot of money so I wasn’t given many opportunities to explore computer science. I also had a love for art and when you think of art and technology many people find it hard to correlate them together.

Girls Who Code gave me a chance to prove to my community that no matter where you come from, you have the ability to make a difference in the world.

I believe that anyone can learn to code even if you don’t like math or science and you like art (like me). I learned that I can use my love of art with computer science!


What was the hardest part of learning to code and how did you overcome it?

There were MANY times when I would stumble upon a problem that was too difficult and I felt the need to give up. However, I learned it’s okay to feel stuck sometimes and continue on one step at a time.

During the Summer Immersion Program, my team’s app crashed and we had to start building it all over again! We loved the idea for the app and didn’t want to give up. So, we had to quickly learn an entirely new programming language. In the end, our app turned out better than we originally hoped. It was great being able to overcome this challenge as a team!

How has learning to code made you feel more confident?

I know what I want to study in college! I’m going to be a computer science major with a possible minor in art. Hopefully, I’ll be an intern at Pixar!

What advice would you give to another girl to inspire her to learn to code?

Don’t feel scared! You learn from your mistakes in coding and can overcome them. It’s all about trial and error.

What are you most proud of?

I’m always taking part in movements for social change for gender and racial equality and actively express my voice to teach others about social justice issues. I’m also proud of how artistic I’ve become over the past year. Trying to find my artist voice has been difficult; I am still learning what that (“artist voice”) means today.

What are your hobbies aside from coding?

I love to create zines in my spare time!

Follow Tai:

  • Snapchat: tai-dyeee
  • tumblr: