I joined Code for Nepal this April and my first task was selecting the Hawkins Fellows. There were 24 applicants and out of them eight were called for phone interview. I had to make decisions quickly so we could match the Fellowship timeline for the Insight Workshop training program. I read the stories of the finalists again and again and tried to find a good mix of the fellows according to their diversity and strengths. Within a few days, I communicated with the selected fellows and they responded immediately and have started the fellowship. I sent out rejection letter to the rest of the candidates who I had interviewed. To be honest all the candidates’ stories were exceptional. A few did not meet the education or programming language requirement. I encourage all of those who applied but did not hear from us or did not get selected to continue your hard work and to continue taking advantage of such opportunities. It is great to see that you have already taken the steps towards closing the gender gap in technology by choosing to work in this field and already are role models to many.
Here, I present to you the first batch of Hawkins Fellows.
1.SUMI PRAJAPATI, BHAKTAPUR
I recently finished my Bachelor’s. I am the oldest daughter in my family. Growing up, I was the most mature,outgoing person and I tried to help my family my entire life. I am a simple,open minded girl who loves to learn new things and experience life.
I was one of the fellows at Women Leaders in Technology (WLiT) which run programs to foster the vision of providing young girls opportunities and resources to carry their passion in technology, and become leaders and innovators. I have been a part of various workshops and hackathons including a 3 month smart-chhori campaign in Khalti which helped me learn about digital payments and digital literacy program practically. From my teenage days I had always experienced the gender gap and felt the decreased involvement of girls in technology. I believe that girls are equally good as boys. The technology field had always fascinated me. Collecting memories and capturing them in photos is what interests me. I like to volunteer. I want to spread smiles to my loved ones.
Code for nepal dreams to empower Nepal by increasing digital literacy. Encouraging women in this area is a huge step towards this dream. I was very impressed and attracted towards this vision looking at different projects of this organization.
The Hawkins Fellowship is also one of the small step towards building gender equality in the field of technology. Working together in a team in various kinds of projects is going to be fun and through this Ii can see my future with a huge difference. This kind of opportunity is definitely going to help people grow and get motivated to achieve a successful future.
2. BASNA RANJITKAR, KAVRE
I have just completed my Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering. I joined a fellowship program during my Bachelor to improve my soft skills. This made me confident that I can face any type of interviews, or work pressure. But after I completed my studies and I began to send resume to apply for jobs, I realized that I lacked most of the job requirements posted by companies. The hard skills developed during the college days to just complete the minor and major projects were insufficient to match the job requirements. I applied for Hawkins Fellowship for Women to get the necessary training on technical and professional skills and be able to apply those skills at the workplace.
3. SEEMA THAPA MAGAR, POKHARA
I recently completed my undergraduate in Computer Science and Information Technology. I am a passionate, optimistic and dedicated woman who believes in perfecting my skills with continuous effort. As there is a saying by the great Aristotle that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.”
I am also a nature lover, health enthusiast, scribbler and a social activist. I consider it my greatest achievement when I am able to motivate and help many young students or learners about the cosmic possibilities of technology. I feel genuinely happy when my code runs without any errors or bugs while programming. One of my imperishable memory was of a leadership development camp 2019 in Sikles where I got to meet and influence around 80 indigenous students highly ambitious towards their career. I want to be one of the female tech expert in the IT field. I want to be an example so that people will believe that even a girl can be a scientist, CEO, software developer or any top professional thriving excellently in the technology sector.
4. MAUNATA SHAHI
I have recently earned my Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Originally, before joining Bachelor’s, my plan was to pursue nursing but I changed my course as I got more interested towards technology. Having studied science in high school, changing into a new subject was the most difficult decision for me. Without any knowledge on computers and programming, I had tough times in college. However, with the proper guidance and help by my professors I gained a lot of knowledge about technology . Changing my path and going into the technology field was also one of the best decision I have ever made. As there are significant improvements in field of technology, women are still under-represented. Young women like us need a platform and encouragement in such field to gain more confidence.