#WomeninTech · inspiration · Science · Technology · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Anne Lee

“When there is nothing left to say, lift your head up high, smile, and walk away.” -unknown

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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi, I’m Anne! I’m a current junior at Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, Washington. I spend most of my time building and coding robots, and co-founded Mission Happyland, a non-profit bringing robotics to Happyland, an impoverished slum in the Philippines. In my free time, I love hiking, camping, mushroom hunting, and just being outdoors in general.

Fun fact: I have a really cute Golden Retriever named Maggie, and I like teaching her lots of tricks – she knows how to dance!

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What # would define your life journey?
#makeithappen

How’d you get interested in STEM?
When I was younger, I never thought I’d fit into the realm of STEM or robotics. However, robotics was the activity my neighbor, Ethan, fell in love with. Ethan doesn’t talk much; his default answer for every question is “maybe.” But when it came to robotics, Ethan couldn’t stop talking. Every single day, Ethan would not stop telling me stories about robotics. Finally, I decided, if Ethan can’t stop talking about something, it must have some potential. In a whim, I attended my first robotics practice. I’ve gone to every practice since.
A few years ago, if you asked me what I thought of robotics, my answer was like a scene out of the movies. I envisioned a bunch of nerds, all with braces and giant safety goggles, passionately arguing about the efficacy of gear ratios. Now, if you asked me what robotics is like, I wish I could say that I was proven wrong. Truth is, my team is a group of nerds with giant safety goggles arguing about physics and mechanics. But now, I proudly say that I’m a part of that team of nerds, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Favorite website / app:
Youtube, Premiere Pro, After Effects

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Karlie Kloss, the former Victoria’s Secret Supermodel is drop dead gorgeous. But more importantly – she, believe it or not, has a brain. In fact, a really smart one.

When talking about any sort of model, let alone a member of such a “prestigious” few, it’s easy to overlook anything but her appearance. Though she is “body goals” and has clearly won the genetic lottery, I look up to Karlie Kloss so much because she works hard to prove that she’s more than a pretty face. When she returned to NYU to study computer science, I’ve never looked up to someone more. She defies all stereotypes of what programmers look like, and proves that you don’t have to be a nerdy guy who sits in his garage programming all day to be good at coding. If a Victoria’s Secret model, a career certainly not renowned for its brainpower, can learn how to code, why couldn’t I?

Song that makes you want to dance:
“Sit Still Look Pretty” (by Daya)

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Art has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up, in my nerdy group of friends, I’d always be considered the “art kid.” In my artsy group of friends, I’d always be the “science nerd.” I never fully fit in with either group,and I was never really sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I always imagined programmers as nerdy anti-social boys, and I never realized that it would be okay to like both technology and art, which are often considered very polar opposites. After meeting other women also pursuing STEM careers who I could relate to, I started to realize that it was perfectly fine to like things that stereotypical programmers aren’t associated with. Being good at art doesn’t make you any less qualified as a programmer. Today, computer science is so applicable to every single field, so I know that no matter what I choose to pursue in the future in addition to computer science, I’ll be able to apply my skills in CS to anything.

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Ideal Job:
Coming from Washington, the Evergreen State, I’ve always loved spending time outdoors. Climate change has always been an issue I’ve been very passionate about, and I want to help protect the parks and forests I grew up in for future generations. In the future, I hope to study environmental engineering and computer science in college, and combine my love for technology and the outdoors to solve environmental issues. I’d really love any type of job where I can be outside some of the time, and I dream about running around studying glaciers in the Arctic. A bonus would be if I could see polar bears everyday! They’re so cute and my favorite animal.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Listen to your mom.

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