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Participant story: Gabriela

“The more I learn, the more I want to know!”

Woman with black, curly hair and brown eyes looking into the camera

1) Tell us a little about your life.
I was born in Los Angeles, have lived in the Bay Area, and primarily grew up in the small town of Los Banos located in the Central Valley. I am a first-generation college grad and initially intended to attend law school after graduating with a degree in Criminology from the University of California, Irvine. However, during my time at UC Irvine, I was presented with the opportunity to work with underserved, underrepresented students and their parents to inform and guide them through their higher education process. This work made me realize that a lot of students and their families struggled with similar things I had struggled with. For example, one challenge was the lack of information regarding what career opportunities are out there. While learning to teach them about these opportunities, I learned more about what was out there for me as well, which brought me to where I am today — pursuing a career in tech.

2) What made you decide to pursue a software engineering career and apply for Techtonica?
My interest in learning how to code began when I accidentally enrolled in a computer science course for C.S. majors instead of the one for my major, Business. This class ended up being one of the most enjoyable courses I took in community college. Years later, I started learning to code again and joined various groups to find a place of community. When I heard about Techtonica and their commitment to diversity, I decided to apply so I could connect with others and receive guidance and support while on this life-changing journey. I also appreciated that the program is set up in a way that prepares its participants to be successful at their future places of employment.

3) What are you most excited to learn while at Techtonica?
I love to learn! I am very excited to learn about all the topics and to be challenged in new ways. Learning enough to bring ideas to life is particularly exciting to me. Currently, I am focused on learning more about what I can do with JavaScript and solidifying the basics. However, the more I learn, the more I want to know!

4) What do you want to contribute to or change about the tech industry?
Something I would like to contribute after completing the program is my knowledge of the field. During my learning journey, I’ve felt empowered and would like for others to feel the same way. I would also like to contribute support for underrepresented individuals by volunteering with organizations that are working towards diversifying the tech space.

5) What’s your dream project?
I’m not yet sure of what my dream project is, but I do want it to be something where people can come together, share knowledge/passions, and support each other. If I could build something revolving around budget-friendly travel, backpacking, and/or road-tripping, then I could combine my passion for exploring with software engineering. However, there are so many possibilities, and I’m sure that as I learn more I will have other ideas as well.




Free tech training and job placement for local women and non-binary adults in need.

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