All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.” – Julie Andrews
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I have been a teacher for over fifteen years and I love working with children. I returned to school for a Master’s in Computer Science after taking an intro to CS as a Quantitative & Computational Reasoning requirement so I didn’t have to take statistics, and this is where I feel like I have found my niche…bringing tech and education together! I attended the Grace Hopper Celebration for the first time in 2014 and connected with Rose Robinson, her Systers Keeper, and she got me interested in starting an ABI Community, Native American Women In Computing. I am now interning with the Anita Borg Institute, on the Grace Hopper Celebration Communities Committee, and the Underrepresented Women in Computing Committee. My fun fact is that I am a huge Denver Broncos fan and so happy we just won Super Bowl 50!!!
What # would define your life journey?
I would say the number 8 would define my life’s journey. I am always evolving and revisiting. Forever in motion, and there seems to be no end and I can’t seem to remember the beginning, but I know it was good!
Favorite website / app:
Pinterest is my reset button! When I get a chance I can find things to do with my kids, projects to do on the house, new ideas for my garden, and I love to look at tattoo designs.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Rose Robinson has been a tremendous mentor for me for the past couple of years. She is one of those people that everyone knows, even if they have never met her in person they have heard her name. She is Her Systers’ Keeper! Rose creates, facilitates, and inspires communities around the world. I hope that one day I can do a fraction of the work she does.
Song that makes you want to dance:
There are so many I can’t think of a single one! I dance to all music, and usually just sing in the car.
Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I had a group project that had a group of four, and I was the project manager. One of the women dropped the course, and a couple weeks later another one stopped showing up for Scrum meetings. I delegated to my last member and took on a lot of the work in addition to meeting with the clients. I was determined to deliver a working web application prototype by the end of the semester and the two of us did! We surpassed the expectations of the clients and passed the class with flying colors. It was a rough semester, but we got through it. This experience taught me flexibility, delegation skills, and knowing my limitations, but work to learn new things so my limitations no longer hinder me or the projects I work on.
In founding the community for Native American Women in Computing, it is my dream and goal to do more with it. I would like to inspire Native American Women to explore Computer Science and give them the tools and support to help them be successful in this field. I would like to reach out to more tribal colleges, indigenous communities, and increase the number of Native women in tech. I would love to do workshops, hackathons, code-ins, and conferences with the Native community and grow involvement. The number of Native women in computing & tech is a fraction of a fraction and this is something I will strive to change.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Do what you love, but try new things because you will never grow unless you explore, try, fail, and try again! Life is a process where you learn, teach, and grow constantly. Pass on to others what you have learned and knowledge will flourish.