I am the Founder and Technical Director of &TECH, a project-based & team-based experience for high schoolers to explore their passions & tech. My background is in computer science and math, which led me to my day job of systems engineering, focusing on Agile and DevSecOps at a major defense contractor. A huge part of my job is also getting to mentor college students in cybersecurity and general careers. When I'm not doing either of these things, you can find me on a hiking trail, baking "healthy" cookies, playing with my puppy Dewey, in a dance studio, or amateurly playing the drums.
At &TECH, I spent 2020 putting together an amazing team of high school interns, strategic advisors, engineers, and more, who also happen to be great friends. We are setting out to host a cross-country high school-focused hackathon, Hack&TECH, in fall of 2022. I am currently putting together tech-related resources for the community to have access to, working with my team on communications and ideation for the future, and planning and prototyping &TECH Challenges for three interdisciplinary tracks: art&TECH, sports&TECH, and music&TECH. Check out our work at www.andtech.io!
At my day job, I am a Systems Engineer for a major defense contractor. After spending time doing software development, cybersecurity, and then taking a leap of faith to be on the cutting edge of good and innovative change for the company, I switched roles to apply all that I had learned about continuous improvement practices and push towards the future at a complex national security project. This past year, I've learned a ton about and applied a ton of DevSecOps, Lean-Agile, Model-based Engineering, the Systems Engineering "V", and so much more. I was also appointed Vice President of the NGTerps Board of Directors, the first alumni-corporation collaboration with the University of Maryland, College Park..
Last but not least, I am officially a one-year resident of Salt Lake City, UT! This cross-country move was a big deal for me, not having known anyone or even had visited this place over 2,000 miles away from home. A year later, though, I am happy to call it home with an amazing circle of friends that have become family, the beautiful outdoors that never cease to amaze me, and so much adventure to still have.
In 1998, I was born in the wonderful tropics of the Philippines.
In 2000, my parents and I immigrated to the United States for a brighter future.
In 2012, I took my first programming class (because my parents told me to) and surprisingly really enjoyed it. Go Java.
In 2014, I was chosen to represent THS at the national HOBY seminar, which gave me my first real sense of leadership.
In 2015, I suffered through seven AP classes which sucked at the time but paid off later!
In 2016, I graduated high school and started my first year at the University of Maryland, where I was admitted into the ACES Program
In 2017, I took some really cool algorithm courses, served as a leader in UMD's Student Government Association, and went skiing for the first time.
In 2018, I started &TECH in my college apartment (channeling my start up vibes here), after realizing how much I could do and help others with creating opportunities for themselves in tech. Namely kids like my cousins in the Philippines, who are incredibly smart and just need an outlet to apply.
In 2019, I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science and Math, got awarded best undergrad TA by the UMD Department of Computer Science, traveled to the Philippines, started my big girl full-time job, and turned &TECH into an official LLC.
In 2020, I pivoted to technology strategy, adjusted to the #wfhlife, and hiked a lot. Oh, and I put together an amazing &TECH team!
In 2021, I moved to Salt Lake City, UT!
- Dancing (tap and ballet are my favs)
- Hiking (Arches is currently my fav)
- Working out
- Grey's Anatomy
- Utah Jazz
- I have a notebook of nearly a hundred ideas, like Go Go Grocery or MindBar.
- I played the drums at open band night at Cafe Nola after playing for only 2 months. Lol.
- I religiously try to improve my chocolate chip cookie recipes by making them healthier but still tasty.
- I plan to open up a wedding planning business in 2042 under the alias Katrina Mae.
- I was a guest on super cool podcast, Keys to the Future, hosted by a dear friend and mentor.
I dream of
- enabling opportunities for more people.
- always finding cool ideas.
- doing good.
- opening up a dance studio with my younger sister one day.