Jessica's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Code Trip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

JESSICA SANTANA

Co-Founder
New York On Tech

“Own your greatness and own your difference, then create a space where other people can flourish in your greatness as well.”

INTERESTS:

Education Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Determination Goals Opportunity Education Individualism Pride Support & Encouragement Dedication Confidence Doubt Transitions

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

adversity, being yourself, community, diversity, education, fitting in, helping others, hip hop, identity, latino, leaving home, mentors, minority, opportunity, potential, representation, resources, role models, technology, youth

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Co-founded New York on Tech along with her college classmate and fellow leader Evin Robinson.
  • New York on Tech is a nonprofit organization that provides low-opportunity youth with mentorship and experience in technology.
  • Growing up in New York City, Jessica learned how to code so that she could personalize her Myspace profile.
  • Met Evin Robinson while at school at Syracuse University; the two pursued master’s degrees in technology studies together, then decided to go into business together.
  • Believes that the diversity problems in the world of technology aren’t based on malice, but rather on ignorance.
  • As a result, she’s made it her mission to educate people on the importance of diversity and inclusion in technology, especially in her hometown of New York City.
  • Rather than searching out role models, she decided she’d become the face of young Puerto Rican women in technology herself.
  • Says that being a trailblazer can feel like a burden, but then she sees things—like her niece completing a degree—that make her feel completely affirmed in her hard work.

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