Computer science is at the heart of breakthroughs in business, medicine, creativity, and community building, but it’s a field that far too few young people have exposure to. Given that computer science is one of the most in-demand and highly paid skillsets in today’s job market, it’s crucial that access is more inclusive and equitable.
That’s why Roadtrip Nation and Microsoft are teaming up to send 3 young people who are interested in computer science on a cross-country Code Trip this summer. The team will be traveling in our Green RV, interviewing professionals who have turned their passion for computer science into fulfilling careers. All three road-trippers have backgrounds that are underrepresented in the technology industry, and this trip will help them discover the exciting possibilities in the field. Their 4-week journey begins this week! Here’s a little bit of info to help you get to know the team…
Natalie entered college as a chemical engineering major—but all it took was one computer science class and she was hooked. Realizing it was the perfect outlet for her curiosity and problem-solving skills, she quickly found herself changing majors. Now she’s on track to becoming a computer scientist and has no regrets about her decision—but she does have hesitations. As a Latina entering a male-dominated field, she wonders whether she has what it takes to survive the world of tech. Her dream is to honor her parents, who immigrated to the States to give her a better life, but she lacks role models she can relate to. She hopes this road trip will introduce her to females who’ve been in her shoes so she can get the inspiration needed to forge ahead.
Robin can make a lot out of a little. It’s a spirit of plucky resourcefulness that comes from growing up in a small Native American tribe where access to technology was scarce. Drawn to computers from an early age but unable to consistently use them, she started to finagle her way around the limitations. It started in 4th grade when she learned how to override the time limits on public computers. Later, it grew to building her own computer when she couldn’t afford the one she wanted. Today, Robin continues to exercise her love for tech by coding and blogging. Her choice to pursue tech hasn’t always been easy, and she’s often viewed as an outsider by peers, but she’s determined to show the world that the face of computer science is more varied than people think.
For Zoed, the choice to pursue computer science has been met with skepticism. He’s the type of guy you’d find in a motorcycle garage working on his bike, but he feels equally at home coding on his computer without feeling the need to fit into the “geeky” stereotype. People tend to question whether someone who looks like him would be interested in such techy pursuits, but he’s determined to prove that someone’s appearance has nothing to do with their passions, goals, and abilities. He’s made a lot of sacrifices to put himself through school, and hopes that meeting people like him who have broken the mold will give him the confidence he needs to keep flouting expectations.
We’re so pumped for these three to hit the road! Follow along on their adventures with the hashtag #CodeTrip.