When I was working to help provide programming at two Chicago Public Libraries in the south side, I noticed there wasn’t many opportunities for activity programming for younger students and young adults. Additionally, I wanted to utilize this need for programming and supply a route for students to earn money and get placed in a job that would be a great addition to their resume and help their college applications or future career prospects.

Universities have used this model to give incoming freshman a guaranteed internship in Engineering and Computer Science. This type of model has yet to be adopted by a startup.

The app is positioned to be used primarily by high school students and those that have recently graduated high school in order to fully utilize the benefits of this program. The app allows the user to learn from three tracks: Business, Engineering, and Computer Science. The user gets paid for completing courses and once the required assessments are passed, the student is placed into a paid internship in that field.

To counteract historically low completion rates that are seen in every online learning community, we incentivize the completion of the assessments that also lead to an internship. This also helps to reduce the burden of needing to work while in the program.

This programming takes into account the whole learning process and positions the user to succeed in other learning activities through the use of design thinking. Our users are given the technical knowledge, but are also given soft tools that make the difference in propelling them towards a career and not simply a job. I’m prepared to take on the founder and partnerships role. I have held many positions that have focused on user research and education, such as through my internship with Thaki, where I developed surveys to distribute to refugee teachers and students, and through my own startups. I received my masters in Cognitive Science in Education from Columbia University and studied best practices in curriculum development, research methods, data analysis, online learning, and application design. My thesis focus is on online learning and best practices for encouraging student motivation and engagement. I have experience teaching and creating science curriculum through my internship with the Museum of Science and Industry, and at the Digital Media Academy where I taught computer programming to younger students. I have extensive research experience working in behavioral neuroscience labs, as well as through self-directed research interviewing students regarding their views on their learning and time in school. I am knowledgeable about design strategies through mentorship through Columbia Design Lab and Adam Royalty. I enjoy working with human centered design rules to solve problems and have used this strategy for think about and solve many design problems in my work and life. I will be working on community partnerships, curriculum development, and human-centered UX design methods.

This idea is in the concept stage of development and user research is needed. A high fidelity prototype will be used to demonstrate market and user fit. Conversations with partnership companies and schools will continue. I am in need of someone to provide programming experience.

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