Town&Style

Student Standouts: 9.8.21

Sienna Yazdi believes access to and understanding technology shouldn’t be limited by things like age or gender. The University City High sophomore’s interest in coding and computer science grew out of helping her grandparents make FaceTime calls. Now, she’s founded a Girls Who Code chapter at her school and offers free technology tutoring to residents at a local senior living community.

Where did your interest in technology come from?
One of my aunt’s friends works for Kode with Klossy, and she told me about the summer camp. I applied and was accepted. I learned to code in CSS and JavaScript and worked with a great group of girls. It was awesome to have a supportive environment and community. Tech and computer science can be a little intimidating because they are such male dominated fields. It was nice to be surrounded by other girls who were facing similar issues

How did you get involved with helping seniors with technology?
I started when I was young, just helping my grandparents. It was sometimes difficult to communicate with them because they live in Florida. I helped them learn to use their phone for things like FaceTime. With the pandemic, I realized that other older adults might be struggling to connect with loved ones through technology. I reached out to a senior living community to see if they were looking for volunteers to help residents become more comfortable with their electronics. For the past couple months, I’ve been working with a woman once a week. We practice starting Zoom meetings, and I’ve set up an email for her. She’s learning really quickly!

When did you establish the Girls Who Code chapter at your school?
I started the club last year because I knew I was very lucky to have gotten to experience Kode with Klossy. A lot of kids at my school don’t have access to programs like that. I wanted to create a place where girls could have a space to express themselves through code. It’s been going great. Last year, we met over Zoom, and I’ve been working with the club’s adviser to figure out how we can meet this year safely.

What do you enjoy about coding?
I love expressing myself through computer science. It’s like a magical world. When I put my time and effort into writing code, I can create something amazing. It’s really rewarding. I’m taking a computer science class at school this year, and I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the subject.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I’m on my school’s tennis team. It’s a great group of girls, and we’re all really close, which makes practice much more fun. I’ve started taking glass blowing lessons. I’m not really great yet, but I look forward to doing that more this year. I also love to bake with my younger brother. It’s really fun, and we can create desserts to share with our family.

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