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Special Inspire_Her Feature on coderGirls Competition Winners: Anita Boonkure

I sat down with Anita to discuss her achievement of being the second place winner of the coderGirls International Video Competition. Due to her win, she was able to receive a ticket to the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference and an interview through coderGirls. Through the video competition, we wanted to see how girls connect computer science to their passion through a film. For example, students can make a video on how they help others through code, making music through code, or connecting dance to code.

My name is Anita Boonkure. I am a freshman in highschool with a passion for mainly design and art. I wanted to create an app where I would be able to demonstrate my artistic skills as well as my knowledge in coding, so I made this fashion game.

Her Video Entry:

Briana: Why did you enter the coderGirls competition and what did you enter with?

Anita: I entered coderGirls because my teacher recommended it to me and also I wanted to test my abilities and what I learned in class this year. I entered with a prototype for a fashion app that would have a useful function in real life situations.

Briana: What did this achievement mean to you?

Anita: Winning second place in coderGirls made me think that I have a possibility in the STEM-related field. While I do like coding in my class, I was not particularly sure that I would continue this past high school. However, with this achievement, it helped me realize that I could actually go past just simple high school level classes and actually turn this into a job.

Briana: What was your first experience with technology and/or coding?

Anita: My first experience with coding was this year, actually. I never really took an interest in coding before, and while there was the occasional lessons from middle school, I do not count that towards my experience. However, my game design class sparked an interest in coding for me, and it really took off for me.

Briana: Describe some of your achievements in awards or extracurriculars, especially STEM.

Anita: I am consistently on top in my STEM- related classes, achieving straight A’s since I was in elementary school.

Briana: What is a challenge you've faced, related to coding/technology experiences? How did you overcome that challenge?

Anita: A challenge that I face related to coding is just to understand what I am looking at and how I want to implement certain features. When you are faced with a screen that has lines and lines of strings of code, it is absolutely intimidating. I tend to get lost in it, even. However, my teacher is very helpful whenever these problem arise, and would help me pick apart my code and even nudge me on the path as to how I would implement the features that I want to add.

Briana: What advice would you have for someone who was interested in technology, but was intimidated?

Anita: My advice would be to just do it. Start small - do not start a big project when you are just learning. Scope is a huge factor, and if you start too big, you will become even more intimidated and lose motivation. So, start small, and to just keep on working and build up your skills.

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