#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · Hackathons · inspiration

Women Who Reign: Areeta Wong

“Have the confidence of a mediocre white man.” – a speaker from WiSTEM BARE 2017

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m currently a second semester junior (fun stuffs!). Additionally, I’m a Girls Who Code SIP Alum from Twitter 2016. The growth-focused environment and idea of constant learning fostered my love with the tech culture. SIP allowed me to delve into a professional workplace and develop friendships and mentor-mentee relationships. Shoutout to Erin! After seven weeks, I could proudly declare my major as Computer Science.

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What’s your passion?
Over the years, hackathons have gained momentum through the widespread efforts of organizers and companies dedicated to providing sponsors and supporting the event. Even though the word “hacking” connotes a visual of large groups illegally breaking into a system, hackathons, in reality, act as an environment for all levels of experience and backgrounds to experiment and create with technology. Not only do these overnight events bring people together, hackathons allow ideas to come to life through various mentors, workshops, and hardware. Recently, hackathons have started to gear their inclusive environment to high school students; as a response, students themselves have started to organize high school only hackathons. Starting junior year, I attended a couple hackathons; at these events, I was exposed to an enormous community of “hackers.” Like a child to candy, I immediately started to organize these twenty-four hour or more events (yay!). Honestly, organizing has been the highlight of my high school career.

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What are you organizing?
For every fifteen guys at a hackathon, there are only two girls. To that, I’ve started Superposition which is a hackathon aimed at high school girls in the Bay Area of all experience levels and backgrounds. Superposition is an 19 hour hackathon with about 200 attendees.My team wants to offer attendees a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment to experiment with technology at any experience level. Additionally, we want to generate a larger interest and help more girls learn and thrive in the technology related fields. Not only are the attendees allowed to be creative, they are encouraged to bring their own set of interests to develop and build their projects. Outside of Superposition, I’m organizing 6 events.

 

Fav Phrase?
“Yikes” the nicer version of “oh shit.”

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Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
“I’m mobile hiding.” – Samuel (same) To my mentor, my stressed out friend, my (hackahton) dad, thank you. You’re extremely appreciated (you’re my fav). To say that you’ve changed my life is a complete understatement. I don’t think I would’ve grown as person. Because of you, I’ve met and built so many friendships, organized hackathons, and most importantly, gone out of my comfort zones. You don’t even see the impact you make around people and without your guidance, Superposition wouldn’t have become a real event. I’m extremely thankful to have you in my life and tell me when I’m out of line (yikes, mb). Also, your selflessness, ability to remain calm (most of the time), and way of saying goodbye never ceases to amaze me. I think you’re a unicorn. Please eat and sleep more. “TeaPumps.” – Samuel

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Song that makes you want to dance:
”Never Be Like You” by Flume and kai was blasting  when Erin, Chelsea, and I was working on one of the hardest Python projects we were assigned at Girls Who Code. Sitting in one of Twitter’s cubbies on the second floor of the 1/10th building, we laughed and struggled together to figure out this project.

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What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Keep a journal. There are so many brilliant ideas and visions that come from your mind that gets left out with the millions of other things that you need to focus about. Also, the emotions that you feel in a certain moment can not always been remembered so write it down. In each day of our lives, there are little pieces of happiness that are forgotten. Whether you are ranting or crying, writing allows you to express those emotions rather than bottling it up and lets the future you see how you felt in that specific situation. Save movie, airplane, parking (yikes) tickets . These become tokens of your personal experiences. Personally, I’ve been terrible at keeping journals because I forget to, but I try to do it as often as possible (and so should you!).

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