Shi’s nonprofit helps support and empower underprivileged MoCo kids

There are many students here who are involved in computer science and technology. One student, senior Cindy Shi has gone above and beyond in her dedication to both computer science and empowering other people.

Shi started her own non-profit in the Montgomery County area to help kids who do not have as many tech resources available. “I am running a nonprofit called TrchniFusion, which is a non-profit that draws in underrepresented students around Montgomery County to teach them code. The non-profit integrates not only computer science, but real world applications such as environmental science and awareness,” Shi said.

Students admire Shi for her desire to help others. “I think it is important that people help others who do not have access to all the great resources that we have here at Wootton,” senior Kyle Hemery said.

Shi’s desire to start the organization came after years of helping kids learn tech. “My non-profit teaching kids basically culminated from over three years of experience of teaching kids around Montgomery County computer science,” Shi said.

When Shi was given an opportunity to receive funding, she put her plan into action. “When I was in 10th grade, I applied for this award called Aspirations in Computing, which is a competition from the company NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information technology). After I won the award, I could apply to their funding to establish computer science programs in Montgomery County, so I applied, and worked hard to establish my program in Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Olney,” Shi said.

With the funding she has received, Shi has been able to help kids and have a big impact in their lives in ways beyond just teaching them code. “Over the past few years, I have received over $10,000 in funding from NCWIT for my computer science education outreach programs. With the funding, I was also able to provide resources, such as robotics, swag, snacks, and other resources and opportunities for participants and their families. I was also able to get free lunch for my students from MCPS,” Shi said.

Students appreciate how Shi has increased the impact of her organization by making sure she makes the most of the funding she receives. “I think it is good that with her organization, not only does she help kids learn computer science, she helps them in every way she can like getting them snacks, and free lunch,” senior Preston Shay said.

Shi is hoping to expand her nonprofit’s mission and agenda beyond Montgomery County, and to the rest of the country. “I am going to Silicon Valley on an academic fellowship called she++, which is an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley to present my nonprofit to prominent technologists and network with other young change makers around the country about our initiatives in tech. My message is to encourage young people more into tech, especially young girls,” Shi said.

 

Jake Klugerman

Profiles Editor

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