Girls Who Code Run the World: Meet 18-Year-Old Roxy Banik
This summer Cambio partnered with Girls Who Code, an innovative organization actively increasing the number of girls exposed to careers in the technology fields. Five graduates of the program are interning at Cambio, and they helped us relaunch the site - building new features and putting their stamp on the content - creating a destination that not only entertains but also empowers young women. We're thrilled to introduce you to these remarkable girls.
Roxy Banik, 18, from Queens, NY, has two older brothers, one in engineering and the other in finance, and she was always told that as girl she wasn't meant to enter those fields. But Roxy has never believed in gender-based boundaries. She discovered a passion for coding while messing around with a friend's Tumblr. She was thrilled to discover GWC, quickly built her first app and met other young women who inspire her to be anything she wants to be. Roxy was especially impressed by GWC's founder Reshma Saujani (more on Reshma below). Here, she talks about her experience interning at Cambio and creating a new product that will give girls a new way to empower each other.
Cambio: How did you find out about GWC?
Roxy: A friend told me about GWC, and as soon as I heard about all of the opportunities and everything that she learned during the program - she also told me that she made lifelong friends - I immediately signed up.
Cambio: Is it challenging for girls to get into coding?
Roxy: I think what's challenging for girls is that there just aren't enough women in STEM to serve as role models for young women.
Cambio: Tell us about the app you created as your final project at GWC.
Roxy: I developed a location-based mobile application that allows you to find the nearest bathroom and/or water fountain location in New York City. It's called "Let It Flow."
Cambio: What's your favorite thing about working at Cambio?
Roxy: We developed a contributor network, the Cambio Col[lab], and I think it's really exciting to create something where girls can share their stories and inspire one another. I don't know of any online forum that accomplishes that right now, so I think it's great that Cambio took on this project.
Cambio: Is that how you came up with your final project at GWC? By seeing a need?
Roxy: Yeah, because all you have to do is identify a problem and know that you're capable of solving it.
Cambio: What do you hope to achieve during your Cambio internship?
Roxy: I hope that I can become more comfortable leading a project.I've learned that there's so much that goes into executing your ideas effectively and making a product vision come true. I hope that I can just become more comfortable actually making that happen.
(Check out Roxy and her fellow interns' interview with violinist Linsdsey Stirling, third from left.)
Cambio: Which woman inspires you the most and why?
Roxy: Our GWC founder [Reshma Saujani] inspires me a lot, because she talks about how as a society we're so ashamed of failure, and I personally think that if you can become more comfortable failing, you're more likely to succeed and you can tackle anything that comes your way.
Cambio: What empowers you?
Roxy: What empowers me is sitting in a room full of women who believe that they can, because limits only exist if you create them in your mind.
Cambio: Who's your favorite celebrity?
Roxy: My favorite celebrity has to be Oprah, because she doesn't believe in limits and neither do I.
Cambio: What does #BUILTBYGIRLS mean to you?
Roxy: #BUILTBYGIRLS means that girls can inspire each other, because even if there aren't enough female role models yet, we can be role models to one another.
(See Roxy's first article on the Cambio Col[lab].)