What inspired you to found the Girls Who Code at UVA?
When I studied abroad in China, there wasn’t an opportunity for women to learn computer science. Women empowerment centric coding that focuses on being transparent about struggles and having that culture where its very okay to struggle and speak out about them is something that I didn’t have. I quickly learned that there were other women on campus that felt that way and I wanted to build a safe and comfortable community for all of us.
Who was your role model and/or inspiration?
My mom because she came to this country at the age of about 23 and barely had any money or know how to speak English. My parents went to graduate school here and lived in a mobile home for a while. She now has her own business and has given me a privileged life. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and she’s instilled those values in me.
What does your future look like? What do you plan to do?
My main goal for Girls Who Code is for it to be sustainable and run long after I’m gone, whether it is social or educational. I think it’s important for girls to find that community and help it grow. Personally, I want to work as a software developer for a while. Ultimately, I want to create a way to elevate teaching young people computer science and help build that curriculum. I want to help people be more critical thinkers and not fall being on the age of technology.
What is the best piece of advice have you received that has helped you be successful?
The resources are out there, you just have to go find them.
What motivates you?
My mom! I love her and she’s worked so hard to support me and push me forward, so ultimately I want to be able to give back to her when I get older.
What do you do in your free time?
The real question is do I have free time! I didn’t how busy I’d be this summer, but I love spending time with my roommate’s cat. I’m trying to learn how to be craft and learn how to cook.
What’s your favorite tv show at the moment?
I love sitcoms so Brooklyn 99. I’m currently watching Fresh Off the Boat.
How has your life and daily routines changed as a result of COVID-19?
As for my internship at Microsoft, I was going to live in Seattle for the summer, but I’m working remote instead. I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of the experiences. Trying to work with a team is a lot different and time consuming. As for Girls Who Code, we had a couple meetings before we went online, but we’re doing the best we can. We had a Microsoft panel and participated in a local Hack Day. We’re talking to presidents of the other chapters to see how we can have a more enriching experience, but it’s definitely hard.
If you could go back in time, is there, if at all, anything you’d do differently?
No, I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason, and even if you’re not having a good time, the experiences teach us something valuable to grow from.
If you could know the absolute truth to one question, what would you ask?
What’s the next stock to invest in?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Go Dumb by the Happy Fits
In your opinion, who do you think is the most impressive person in the world right now, and why?
My mom because of all the hard work that she’s done to give me the life I have today. Without the opportunities she’s given me, it would’ve been hard. She supported me through school and steered me in the right direction while thinking about the long term plans.