Introducing Women in Technology Scholarship Winner Andrea Baric!
The StudySoup Women in Technology Scholarship program awards one female college student who demonstrates a passion for computer science and is paving her way towards a meaningful career in the industry.
We’re pleased to announce the winner of our Spring 2017 semester scholarship Andrea Baric of the University of Pennsylvania!
Growing up in a bilingual household, Andrea gained an early interest in learning new languages. She also had an early curiosity for how things worked, spending her time taking apart her family’s home electronics and scoping out Radioshack ads.
But it was a computer science class in high school where she first discovered her true passion for programming through making a video game.
“I was fascinated with my ability to just write a few lines of code that translated into a vibrant, moving object on my screen that I could control with my arrow keys. It connected with me so much more than studying chemistry compounds or solving physics inertia problems did,” said Andrea, “Going through the process of imagining what I wanted my computer to do, to seeing how Python’s syntax could help me express that, to actually programming and debugging my code was something truly mind-boggling for me.”
Being exposed to other female computer scientists, particularly the senior female students within the computer science department at her university, has inspired Andrea to look for ways to close the gender gap within technology.
“I started FemmeHacks (femmehacks.io), one of the nation’s first all-women hackathons, my freshman year to address the severe gap of women in technical fields. We provide beginner-friendly workshops, a ton of company mentors, fun side events like a juice bar, and an open space to create a welcoming and warm environment for those who attend,” said Andrea, “We welcome any woman-identifying individual (cis, trans, queer, non-binary) and make sure to include inclusive language and marketing material on our website/social media/email blasts.”
Looking ahead to her senior year, Andrea already has big plans for her future. She notes the ever-growing opportunities within the computer science field solving solutions for nearly every industry including media, transportation, service, and more. And knowing that women will likely have a larger role in this growth, she’s begun thinking through how the industry can be more inclusive towards female computer scientists.
“Make an environment that women and other underrepresented minorities feel proud and excited to walk into every day, and be transparent about the problems that your company faces. They say that it takes a whole village to raise a child– for me, it takes a whole company to develop a culture that welcomes one woman,” notes Andrea.
Looking for money to help pay for school? Check out all StudySoup scholarship opportunities by visiting our scholarship page here.