Social Impact Internships: Salomé Otero (’23)

Hi, I am Salomé! I am a current senior in 15-1 (management with a concentration in education analytics); I spend my time studying and researching at the intersection of computer science, education, and innovation. Advancing equity in the computer science space has been at the heart of my efforts and work for years. The PKG Center has been key to my exploration of education equity. As the next step toward my ultimate goal of working as an educator and research focused on CS education, I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in Education at USC next fall.

This IAP, I had the opportunity to work at G{Code} as a Tech Curriculum Developer. G{Code} is a nonprofit that empowers BIPOC women and nonbinary people of color by providing foundational needs such as housing, inclusive communities, quality education, and expanded access to economic opportunity. Currently, G{Code} offers programs focused on web development and is looking to grow its offerings to include a data analytics program. My internship was mostly focused on researching the curriculum design for this new program with the aim of developing a course blueprint.

G{Code}’s work is motivated by an issue very dear to my heart–educational equity. More specifically, this nonprofit combats the gender gap in STEM education and careers. What makes G{Code}’s effort so compelling to me is the comprehensive nature of the support and education they offer. That is, I see an awareness of the beyond-education needs of women and nonbinary people of color reflected in the curriculum and support offered beyond the classroom. As I mentioned, I mostly focused on imagining and developing a data analytics program; during this process, my supervisor encouraged me to be mindful of students’ backgrounds and ensure the curriculum is responsive to these. This was a unique challenge that I embraced. Now that my internship has concluded, I am happy to say that I am a better curriculum developer, especially when it comes to serving student needs. Apart from course content accommodating a range of needs, I was fortunate to work with an organization with initiatives like G{Code} House–a program that will provide co-living, co-learning, and co-working spaces for women and nonbinary people of color ages 18 to 25 to unlock their potential and break into the tech industry as disruptive change makers. I am excited by efforts like G{Code} House because of their boldness and sincere intention to support students in every way that allows for successful learning.

While my immediate future holds more research-oriented educational efforts, I am confident that I carry powerful insights from my time at G{Code} which will benefit my work. My research directions are concerned with the inequitable higher education experiences of justice-impacted individuals and Latinx students. The understanding, cultivated at G{Code}, of how comprehensive educational programs must be to effectively support underserved students will be something that my research and studies will seriously explore.

Read about Salomé’s Summer 2022 Social Impact Internship here!

Tags: Social Impact Internships, Social Impact Internships IAP 2023

« All Posts