Girls Who Code Run the World: Meet 18-Year-Old Lily Yuan
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.
Lily Yuan, 18, is a biomedical engineering student from Flushing, New York who embodies the growing #BUILTBYGIRLS movement. She's passionate about coding, but she also loves clothes and fashion and she's not immune to the occasional fangirl moment over one of her favorite celebs. Here, Lily talks about her experience interning at Cambio and creating a product that she and her friends will be able to share.
Cambio: What are you most excited about working on at Cambio?
Lily: The [Celebspiration] meme generator. You generate a meme based on your favorite celebrity or topic and a quote from that celebrity. It's so interesting working on the front end development and working with the HTML and CSS to make that website page look good and functional.
Cambio: Do you share memes with your friends?
Lily: I use Imgur, which is an image hosting website, and we frequently share memes and things back and forth from Imgur.
Cambio: What do you hope to achieve by the end of this program at Cambio?
Lily: I hope to make a really amazing meme generator that works and looks great and people are excited to use.
Cambio: Which woman inspires you the most and why?
Lily: The woman that inspires me the most is my mother. She's so hard working. She came to America without that much knowledge or money or anything, but she built a life for herself and she gave me a better life than she had.
Cambio: What empowers you?
Lily: It's going to sound really girly, but honestly, clothes. How you wear things really influences how people look at you and I think that helps empower me. If I feel good in the outfit I'm wearing, I feel good and I feel empowered. Brightly colored things just empower me, because they stand out a lot. Like right now I'm wearing bright orange shoes. They're amazing shoes, and they just make me happy.
Cambio: What do you think girls care about reading on a site like Cambio.com?
Lily: I think they care about what's happening in the world around them - because when you're a teen you see your own world, but it's interesting to know what happens elsewhere, and it's like a way of escaping from your world for a little bit.
Cambio: Who's your favorite celebrity?
Lily: My favorite celebrity is Benedict Cumberbatch, and that's because he's amazing in Sherlock. Sherlock is a really quick-talking character, and the way that he is able to learn his lines and present them in such an accurate manner is just amazing.
Cambio: Speaking of celebrities, what was it like interviewing Gregg Sulkin?
Lily: Gregg was really charming, and he answered all of our questions. I found out he has a prominent British accent, but he can do an American accent really well because he plays a lot of American characters, so I asked him to demonstrate that accent switching and that was really interesting.
(Check out Lily and her fellow interns' interview with Gregg Sulkin, pictured above)
Cambio: Were you nervous to do the interview?
Lily: I was terrified and I really didn't even want to ask the question! I was like, "I'll give it to Nikki," but at the end I said, "I just do it! I'll just see what happens."
Cambio: Can you tell us about your final project at Girls Who Code?
Lily: For our final project, my partner and I worked with Arduinos, which are these really small computer things, and we programmed them to do a physical function. So what we did is we got a distance censor, we attached it the Arduino and we programmed it so our distance corresponded with a pitch. When you moved your hand away from and close to the sensor on the Arduino, it would make different sounds to make music.
Cambio: What does #BUILTBYGIRLS mean to you?
Lily: #BuiltByGirls is just a way of expressing that girls can build these things, too. Like, "Look at what I can do and it's just as amazing what you can do." And to just show and express yourself and be proud of what you're doing.
(See Lily's first article on the Cambio Col[lab].)