Jadelynn, TechGirl 2019, USA
It was truly an honor to have the opportunity to be a US Youth Ambassador for the TechGirls program and to become a part of such an inspiring, passionate, international network of young women. Not only did we learn programming, cybersecurity, and leadership skills, we also made friendships that we will forever cherish. While we may live thousands of miles apart and come from many different backgrounds, all TechGirls shared the common desire to improve our lives and our communities through STEM.
My experience with the TechGirls program influenced me to combine my interest in STEM with my desire to take initiative and improve public health conditions in light of current global medical crisis concerns. For the past seven months, I have been working on a engineering research project that utilizes computer vision to allow someone to touchlessly interact with computers. While I initially envisioned this innovation to improve productivity, in spirit of the TechGirls mission to use STEM for good, I realized that this innovation could also help improve the well-being of doctors, nurses, and first responders during this pandemic by reducing germ spread and contamination caused by touching a physical keyboard or mouse.
It was a special honor to recently learn that this project was awarded the Grand Prize Student Award presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter) at my regional science and engineering fair championships. This really highlights the importance of using technology to help solve worldwide issues, and I hope that this innovation can inspire and lead to better public health and safety.
Being a part of the 2019 TechGirls Cohort has empowered me to look beyond my community and to use my education and skills in technology to make a difference. Working and learning side-by-side with other STEM enthusiasts from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia helped me understand that while we are all very different, we are also very much the same. Whether we use our passion in STEM to educate the next generation, improve our local communities, or to provide aid during times of crisis, all TechGirls are armed with the skills necessary to create positive change.