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Women Who Reign: Kimberly Bautista

“Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away”
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Kimberly was featured on Melinda Gates blog post! http://m-gat.es/2bbZDfG

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi friends! I’m a student at the University of Washington studying mathematics, and self-learning computer science topics. Since getting into the computer science major at UW is super competitive, I’ve been teaching myself the fundamental concepts and sitting in on a few classes. I love learning! I’ve actually been teaching myself how to code since my senior of high school.

I’m also the Outreach Officer for the UW Society of Women Engineers organization. I’m committed to closing the gender gap in STEM, and inspiring and empowering the next generation to pursue a field in STEM they’re passionate about with confidence and creativity.

Some fun facts about myself: I’m actually super introverted, but I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking in the past year. I never would have imagined I’d be where I am today! I’m a self proclaimed cat and squirrel lover. I prefer the rain to sunshine. I love watching anime, reading manga, and playing video games.

What # would define your life journey?
#LearningToDanceInTheRain

Over the years I’ve to learned that it’s exhausting to try and weather out the storms life throws at us. Instead I’ve learned to make the best out of every situation — I’ve learned how to dance in the rain.

Facing obstacles such as battling with autoimmune disorders and working to pay for college on my own have slowed me down on my current path, but they will not stop me from pursuing my passion for computer science and mathematics. I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities because of those obstacles. However, despite my health and financial hardships, I was able to be successful. I learned to be grateful for what I currently have — a loving family, amazing friends, a loving and supportive boyfriend. It’s the people in my life that truly make me feel happy and whole. It’s their belief in me and my abilities that has kept me going. I have thrived even when all odds were against me because of the people who believed in me.

To everyone who has ever believed in me: Thank you

Favorite website / app:
My favorite website is Google.com. Hands down. The simplicity of landing screen of the webpage is a welcome reprieve from the flashy designs, and information overload of contemporary websites. Not only that, but their page rank algorithm is a godsend when I need to find the answers asap.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Someone who inspires me is Grace Hopper. She inspires me to keep pushing forward despite the hardships that come my way.

It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

The quote above has driven me forward to continue pursuing things people have told me were impossible for me to do.

Someone once told me that the computer science professors at my school wouldn’t want to let a non-CSE major, like me, into their research lab. One week later, I was part of a research lab and doing research for credit.

Someone once told me that I could never be an engineer. Three months later I landed a software engineering internship at Microsoft.

Someone once told me that I was “just a diversity hire.” I’ve racked up more internships and contributed more to my local and tech communities than said person has.

Grace Hopper inspires me to make the impossible possible.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5.

Ideal Job:
I don’t exactly know, and that’s completely fine (with me). That’s the fun part after all. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
What I mean by that is to make your own opportunities if you don’t see any currently open in front of you. Sometimes you’ll make mistakes, but that’s ok. Who hasn’t? I’ve made plenty of mistakes before I got to where I am today, and no doubt I’ll continue making more. However you can’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you from pursuing potential opportunities. Notice how I called them mistakes, and not failures? That’s because you’ll only ever truly fail when you don’t learn from your mistakes. For you to REIGN your life, you need to be ok with making mistakes, and learning from them. We grow from our mistakes — so own up to it, accept it, and learn from the experience. Create an opportunity even in the face of faults and blunders.