Lilly Valencia · Senior Livingston High School · Livingston CA

Lilly Valencia

Senior at Livingston High School · Livingston CA

“I learned to code Junior year in High School. I didn’t like it at first. I hated it. I never took something so challenging in my life. It was frustrating. But, towards the end of the year I started to like it. We started to do animation using JavaScript and made the game Breakout, where you knock down bricks with a ball. It was empowering seeing things I wrote come to life. A few words can make something move! I started researching what exactly is Computer Science and what kind of jobs can you get as a computer scientist, and what do you need to do to become one.”

“I came across Girls Who Code, which is a 7 week immersive program that teaches rising junior and senior girls how to code all over the country. I thought, this is my opportunity. I live so far away, this is going to be hard. But this is what I want. This is my future. I didn’t know I was going to get it. I took the risk. When I got into the program, my mom and I moved to bay area, renting an apartment for the summer.”

This summer Lilly learned Python, C++, CSS, HTML, and Javascript. At the end of the program she built a website that helps you find amusement parks parks in your state using CSS, HTML, Bootstrap, and Google Maps API. “I wanted to learn what steps it takes to build a website. I want to keep it up and build apps, VR games, and more websites.”

“At first i didn’t like how challenging it was, and I didn’t think I’d be good at Computer Science. I wanted to have an experience to see if I could do it. It was my chance to prove to myself that I like it. Now, I like the challenge and I have learned so many new things that will help me in the future.”

Lilly says “don’t knock it till you try it. Life is full of challenges so just take the risk. I didn’t die from it. It’s not so bad. I know things now that a lot of people don’t know how to code, especially from the small town I live in. I can surprise other people with my knowledge and help teach them how to code too.”