Hi there! I'm Justina, a senior at Vernon Hills High School. I founded HAX, a student-run non-profit that aims to make computer science more accessible, one hackathon at a time. Last summer, I interned at State Farm's headquarters, developing on Statefarm.com.
I am a fierce advocate for equitable computer science education and bridging the gender gap in the tech industry. I'm actively involved in all-female and non-binary communities as a Stanford She++ Fellow, Technica Winner, GirlCon Organizer, NCWIT Awardee, BUILT BY GIRLS Advisee, and Tech Together Boston Ambassador.
I intend to pursue computer science in college to leverage technology for social good, whether that be through inclusive design, sustainability efforts, or anything in between. I value authenticity, simplicity, and empathy.
When I'm not working on projects, you can find me listening to bops on Spotify or going on boba runs.
Vernon Hills High School, Vernon Hills, IL—Senior
Aug 2016 - May 2020
- Awards: National Merit Commended Scholar, National AP Scholar
- Stats: 4.2 GPA | 33 ACT (36/34/35/28) | 780 Math II
- Current APs: Calculus AB, Statistics, Macroeconomics, Government, Psychology, Environmental Science
- Taken APs: World History, European History, Physics I, Physics II, Language and Composition
Work + Extracurriculars
Escapades in computing, leadership, and outreach. The first two are work; the rest are extracurriculars.
Enterprise Technology Intern (6/2019 - 8/2019)
(7/2017 - 6/2018)
Worked on JB Pritzker's Campaign for Governor. Recruited new volunteers and supporters through canvassing and organized local campaign events. Although I am grateful for this experience, JB and his campaign do not necessarily represent my political views.
Founder + Executive Director (3/2019 - present)
Directs all activities and operations of HAX, a student-run 501(c)(3) non-profit helping students organize hackathons through mentorship. Leads a team of 40+ high school and college students across four countries and working with 12+ hackathons in three. Partnered with BUILT BY GIRLS and Hack Club Bank for outreach, financial, legal, and item support to further CS education. Sponsored by Google, Slack, and Notion. Featured in Agora Media and Girl Genius Magazine, two student-run online publications, for my work in HAX.
Midwest Regional Director (7/2018 - present)
TILE is an organization that facilitates talks about innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship in 500+ chapters. Manages chapter leaders and communication in the Midwest, facilitates check-ins with chapters, and works on the TILE STEM initiative, merging speaker series and technology to bring CS education to chapters around the world.
Organizer (12/2018 - present)
GirlCon is an all-girls technology conference held at Google Chicago with 400+ female attendees. Solicits sponsors and speakers, recruit attendees, promote the event through social media, and lead technology workshops.
STEM Speaker Series
Founder (8/2018 - 1/2019)
The STEM Speaker Series featuring female tech industry leaders who present about their career paths, opportunities within their field, and more. Reached out to potential speakers, worked with Aspen Library to secure a venue, designed promotional flyers and materials, promoted it at VHHS and local schools, and emceed each speaker event.
Google CS First
Founded a Google CS First chapter at my local elementary school teaching 25+ 4th-5th grade students the fundamentals of computer science and game design. Collaborated with the Principal, implemented Google CS First curriculum, designed promotional materials, recruited and trained 15+ high school volunteers with experience in CS, created presentations, led each meeting, and mentored students.
- Hack Club (President, 5/2018 - Present) ➜ Teaches software and hardware workshops, organizes CS outreach events, and leads meetings.
- Innovation Fair (Organizer, 12/2017 - Present) ➜ Innovation Fair is a competition where students pitch tech and entrepreneurial ideas to local business owners for scholarships. Secures funding, recruits attendees, sponsors, and judges, organizes logistics, and manages the event.
- Varsity Robotics (Competitor, 8/2018 - Present) ➜ Builds and programs Arduino robots. Placed 3rd in the Engineering Explore Post (2018).
- Career Advisory Council (Student Representative, 8/2018 - 5/2019) ➜ One of two students selected to advise local businesses and school leadership about the DARING initiative and career readiness. Pitched the Innovation Fair to garner support and funding.
- Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (Competitor, 8/2017 - Present) ➜ WYSE is a STEM competition across Illinois and Missouri. Competes in CS (C++, computing, and hardware concepts) and English on the Regional and Sectional levels.
- Future Business Leaders of America (Competitor, 8/2016 - Present) ➜ Competes in business-related competitions on the Regional, State, and National levels.
- National Honors Society (Member, 4/2019 - Present) ➜ Tutors peers in English, History, CS, and standardized testing. Involved in service efforts in the school and community.
BUILT BY GIRLS WAVE & Tech Together Boston
Advisee (9/2018 - present) & Ambassador (8/2019 - present)
BUILT BY GIRLS WAVE is a mentorship program preparing the next generation of female leaders in technology. Mentored by two Product Managers at Amazon and Product Data Analyst at Uber, receiving advice on career development, their technical roles, and management.
Tech Together Boston is one of the largest all-female, non-binary hackathons. Supports their mission of inclusivity in technology through reaching out to potential speakers and sponsors, recruiting attendees, and providing feedback in outreach, design, and internal matters.
Awards + Skills
Stanford She++ Fellow. One of 20 high school girls in the nation invited to attend the She++ summit, an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bay Area where I toured tech companies, networked with tech industry professionals, and discussed ways to further education and diversity in computer science within my community.
Technica Best Use of Open Data and Best for Small Businesses Hack. Awarded by Coding it Forward and VistaPrint for Secure the Bread, a web/iOS app that combats food insecurity and food waste by connecting local restaurants with leftovers to communities in need. Implemented Google Maps and Cloud APIs.
Illinois Tenth Congressional District STEM Scholar. Joined Congressman Brad Schneider on visits to STEM-related businesses and facilities to learn more about the applications of STEM within different industries.
NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Honorable Mention Winner. Awarded for demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post‑secondary education.
Future Business Leaders of America State Third Place Winner, National Qualifier. Competed in business communication.
VHHS Girls JV Swimming 2x Record Holder (200 IM Relay and 200 FR Relay).
Graphic design with Canva and Figma for print and social media. Website design with Invision, Figma, and Wix.
Leadership, teamwork, problem solving, communication, community outreach, organization, social media marketing, and agile.