#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Justine Qiu

“Worry often gives a small thing a great shadow.” -Swedish Proverb
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hey! I’m Justine, and I’m currently a junior at Cupertino High School in Cupertino, CA. Besides school, I’m currently involved in the FIRST Robotics Competition with my school’s team (2473), and I also train in and teach contemporary and classical ballet. Another huge focus for me has been working on the HSHacks team and founding and organizing TinoHacks, Cupertino’s first full fledged hackathon targeted towards Bay Area high schoolers, coming in April 2017.

Fun Fact: I have an unreal obsession with memes, most of which come from my robotics team. Oh, and octocats!

What # would define your life journey?
#JustDoIt
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Favorite website / app:
Snapchat: I love Snapchat so much; even though I’m not always that active on it, the filters and effects never cease to amaze me. My favorite filter is the dog filter, because it’s really basic, and so am I (also because it’s adorable)!  :’^)

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My ballet teacher, Mrs. Lin, is one of my biggest inspirations in my life. I used to hate ballet a lot, and almost every studio I went to kicked me out their front door on seeing my poor technique. However, Mrs. Lin never really gave up on me regardless of my terrible technique, and she inspired my mad obsession with ballet today. One of my favorite memories is when I was really really sick right before a competition and was about to call quits on it, but she held me to it and forced me on stage. I ended up winning first place there, and I was just really amazed at what I was capable of when I didn’t back out on things. Not only did she teach me ballet, she taught me about being the best person I can be and bringing out the best of myself. From her, I learned to be persistent with my goals and help others nurture theirs, just as she did for me.
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Song that makes you want to dance:
Problem by Ariana Grande

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I had this really low period in my life around sophomore year where both my social and academic life came crashing down on me, and I kind of sunk into a small stage of depression. It was a mix of feeling like I wasn’t good enough for my family or for myself and like I messed up my entire life with no fix. However, I eventually found solace in my friends’ and family’s support, and that inspired me to figure out why I wasn’t happy and what I could do to turn that around. Finally, I was able to push myself back up from the ground and get myself going. Rediscovering my passion for robotics, hackathons, and CS in general was a turning point in my life, as well as continuing my ballet training and discovering new interests, including journalism and photography.
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Ideal Job:
Naturally, I’m looking to work on an interesting project in a tech company, but my biggest goal is to come up with some completely bizarre idea and bring an entirely new concept to the world. I love working with other people, and the idea of collaborating with friends on an original project excites me. Aside from this, I know that I’ve consistently been on the receiving side of support from my family and friends, but I’ve always wanted to give back to the community and support others. Whether it be helping someone with a personal project or inspiring the next generation of programmers, I hope to make a difference in the community and work to help ensure that everyone has a chance at fulfilling their ambitions.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Justine Qiu
Don’t back off from anything that gets in the way of your goal; stay strong and fight through hardships, and you won’t miss. Focus on being the main character of your own story and not others’, embrace the people who empower you through your life, and look for opportunities to be that supporting beam for others; not only will it make a difference in their lives, it will for yours. 🙂
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