Written by volunteer writer Alison Perch
Recent high school graduate Halle Derry is already on her way toward a promising career in technology. Since graduating from Cinnaminson High School in New Jersey, Halle has started her own website/blog focused on cutting-edge technological advances, inspired by the MIT Technology Review. She’s also proficient in Python and Java, and she’s taking online classes in data analysis using R.
Halle’s passion for technology led her to volunteer with TechGirlz as an instructor and teaching assistant. She found TechGirlz during her junior year of high school, while doing research on colleges.
“The idea of learning more about technology before college with other girls by my side was very intriguing, and I didn’t feel left out, either,” she says.
Halle says she learns something new at every TechShop. She loves connecting and learning with others, and she encourages other girls to do the same.
“I understand that some girls are often scared at their first workshop, but I can guarantee they will leave happy and more curious than ever,” Halle explains.
Halle has advice for parents of middle school girls as well. She recommends that parents make technology a part of everyday life, promote hands-on learning, and encourage creativity. Halle’s own father inspired her tech journey by purchasing her a Raspberry Pi.
TechGirlz’s mission resonates with Halle, and she wants to do her part to reduce the gender gap in STEM careers. “People may not believe that the gender gap is real, but I have witnessed boys outnumber girls in my computer science classes in high school. Therefore, it’s important to try and inspire future generations,” she says.
Developing a diverse skill set is also important to Halle. She’s fascinated by Computer Generated Imagery and physics engines, particularly the Bullet engine. She loves using technology to solve problems and turn ideas into tangible results. Halle also finds time for non-tech activities, such as playing tennis and practicing guitar.
The next step in Halle’s tech journey is attending Rutgers Camden this fall as a computer science major.
“By taking online classes focused on computer science and volunteering with TechGirlz, I feel more prepared for my future in tech,” she says.
Teens can volunteer with TechGirlz, too! Sign up today.