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AURA BARRERO

Place of birth:

San Francisco, California

Family Heritage:

Puerto Rico and Peru

Education:

High School Student

Current job:

Student

Bio

I am a high school senior who is studying to become a software engineer in civic tech. I am an alumna of the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and She++ #Include Fellow. At my school I founded and helped teach a Girls Who Code club. I also co-founded and organized the first high school hackathon in Oakland CA! I lead the Computer Science education week at my school working with the administration as well as Code.org and Salesforce to coordinate school wide Hour of Code workshops and inspiring industry speakers, we even had a visit by White House staff. As part of Techbridge, I’ve built “Soundboxed”, a project to engage young learners of music and an app called MakerQuest both to be presented at the San Mateo Maker Faire.

Bio

I am part of the NCWIT community and have won 3 awards, through NCWIT AspireIT I was awarded a grant to hold an app development workshop series for middle school girls. In my community I have worked with a local non-profit to revamp their website and make it accessible for the staff to edit. I have interned at UCSF working on motion capture research and at a local start-up incubator working with a team from Panama to develop their tutoring platform. During high school I have been heavily involved in community engagement projects related to technology education. In the future, I want to pursue computer science for social good and be part of civic engagement projects that improve the lives of people in the community.

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

We use science and technology in our everyday lives: from social media outlets to interact with friends and network with professionals, to Google for schoolwork and documents, these services would not be possible without the people who have written their software. Latina girls can build that software. Everyone has unique experiences and skills that they use when creating things, that outlook is crucial to building software that solves problems that aren’t being addressed yet. A career in technology can help you become a game changer. Once I started coding I saw how collaborative and interdisciplinary careers in technology are.

Computer science is social in many ways since you have to communicate and work in teams to build software. Computer science careers can also be very interdisciplinary, since technology is in demand in every industry. Through computer science I found an intermediary between my love of education and helping my community and technology. Whatever your hobbies and interests may be, you and can apply them with technology. A career in tech allows you to forge your own path.