to determination, an aptitude for school, and friends who helped with tricky subjects,
Victoria earned good grades. But transitioning to Lowell, a school with the reputation
of educating ultra-competitive students, took its toll. She stuttered, was too anxious
to ask a question in class, and faked stomachaches so she could go home a few hours
“I came into high school feeling diminished, feeling like I had to prove myself.
Everyone I knew was good at something—math or memorizing history or physics—but
I wasn’t,” Victoria says. Yes, she earned excellent grades, but the feeling that
she didn’t have a talent to distinguish herself persisted.
Then the summer before sophomore year, a friend talked her into attending a coding
camp, and she’s immersed herself in computer science ever since. What’s more, she
wants to introduce STEM skills to her peers—especially girls, who may feel shut
out of a male-dominated industry. “I needed to spread our knowledge and allow other
girls to see what the tech industry is really like with hands on learning experiences,”