Stefania, TechGirls 2022, Greece
When I first applied to TechGirls, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to participate in such a selective program. So, you can imagine my joy and surprise when I realized I could be part of the wonderful TechGirls family. And now, reflecting upon the experience that I already lived and cherished in the summer of 2022, I can only say that it was a once in a lifetime experience.
There, I took the role of a college student, with all that comes with it! Classes every morning, walking everywhere through the vast campus of Virginia Tech (and…sometimes running late), exchanging wonderful ideas with AMAZING like-minded girls and professors. That was, after all, one of the reasons why I decided on applying to U.S. universities as soon as I got back home. However, back in my home country and especially in my small, remote hometown, I knew it would be a little hard to do that.
I noticed that where I lived, and in many other places of the world too, many low-income families with children that want to apply to U.S. universities, sadly, can’t manage to do so, simply because there is no guidance or resources available. For example, there are almost zero centers for SAT and University Applications Preparation and Counseling. The ones available are usually very expensive for even a middle-income family here in Greece. As soon as I spotted this, I desperately wanted to change it. I thought to myself, “shouldn’t everyone have the same chances to follow their dreams, despite the limits that their environment sets?”. This became the main idea of my project, “Applications Mate”, a website that helps and guides anyone who wants to apply to U.S. universities, at no cost at all. The website’s origin is an actual reflection of my own personal struggle, and thus, I hope that it can help anyone who has the same dreams, find more opportunities, motivation, and inspiration.
The project is now getting positive feedback from people and friends from all around the world, with (as of 12/18/2022) 355 unique visitors. As soon as I realized how successful the project was, except for the fact that I was extremely proud, I also was determined to continue developing it to the best of my abilities. Even though my intended major is engineering (aerospace-electrical), I plan on continuing the website while I’m at University. I’m also interested in offering live sessions with users in order to help them apply to US universities.
Lastly, one thing that I’d want to say to anyone who wants to apply to TechGirls, other programs, or even U.S. universities, is that it doesn’t matter where you come from. The only thing that matters is where you want to go.