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LAURIE FINKIELSZTEIN

Place of birth:

Boston, MA

Family Heritage:

Colombia

Education:

Current senior in High School

Current job:

Student

Bio

I'm a first generation Hispanic, Jewish American and am currently a senior in high school. My parents have seen the importance of technology and science today which is why they have instilled its significance into me since I was a young girl. When I started high school, I began taking advantage of those opportunities like joining the robotics team and math team. Summer of 2014 was my first exposure to computer science when I did the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at Twitter in Cambridge. That experience was incredible and inspiring for me. Since then, I have founded 7 Girls Who Code Clubs around the Boston area in public libraries and getting over 150 girls coding each week. I also started a STEM Girls club at my high school to empower girls to pursue a STEM career.

Bio

A local college professor reached out to me to teach her business class some basic computer science because computer science isn't taught at the college. So I went to a junior college class and taught them computer science for about an hour and a half. I plan to go to college to pursue a computer science major but I also want to gain exposure to business and combine that with computer science. My ultimate goal is to use my technical computing skills and business knowledge to create some type of app or system that can help people in South or Latin America because to me, my hispanic background and culture have given me my core values and traditions.

Why would you recommend exploring careers in science and technology to other Latina girls?

Many Hispanics come to the U.S. looking for the American Dream, supporting their family and starting new here; that's definitely what my parents did. Pursuing a career in STEM is the new and more achievable American Dream because of all the technology here. It's a skill that is imperative to have and is a way to prove ones abilities to people regardless of ones background.

Exploring a career in STEM is the smartest thing I've ever done and I will continue to spread that to people because there are just so many openings. Aside from these careers paying well and having really good benefits, they're fun! You really use your brain in a new way every day, and use problem solving in a way that's unlike any other discipline.