Intertech Announces 2016 STEM Scholarship Recipient

STEM-Logo-300x178For the past two years, Intertech Foundation has provided a $2,500 scholarship to an exceptional college-bound young woman planning to study computer science. Last year we awarded the Intertech Foundation STEM scholarship to an impressive high school senior named Annina Hanlon.

Annina, now a student at Stanford, has successfully battled cancer and channeled her personal health challenge into an innovative iPhone app to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Her career goal is to (continue to!) combine science and technology in ways that help humanity.

This year, the Intertech Foundation STEM scholarship has been awarded to Alexina Boudreaux-Allen, another outstanding student with innovative dreams involving technology and the arts. Read on to learn how Alexina plans to use technology to make a difference in the world:

  1. Why computer science?

I am interested in computer science because I enjoy coding and think that learning to code will provide me with a way to share ideas with a global community.

  1. How did you first get interested in coding?

In high school I enrolled in AP Computer Science during my senior year. I thought it sounded like an interesting class (although) I had no prior experience with the subject. This class ended up being the most enjoyable class I took in high school.  So I decided to pursue my newfound passion for computer science in college.

  1. Why do you want to attend USC?

I selected the University of Southern California because it provides me with the unique opportunity to pursue both technology and the arts. Through the engineering school I take computer science classes for my major, through the music school I can take computer recording and editing classes, and through the film school I can take 3D animation classes. I think it is important to integrate technology and art, and the best place for me to do that is USC.

  1. What is the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)?

The USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) is an academic research institute that collaborates film and game artists with computer and social scientists to find ways to digitally improve mental help therapy, military preparation, and other services. I want to intern at ICT because it would provide me with a great way to explore a meaningful real-life integration of art and computer science.

  1. Can you give an example of how you might combine computer science and art?

One example I have in mind is a virtual reality program for musicians where they can work on getting over stage fright. In this program, the user would put on VR goggles and play an instrument and be able to play in front of a “real” (virtual) audience. This could also be used as a fun program rather than just a therapeutic one, and it possibly could incent kids to learn to play real instruments rather than video game versions, such as Rock Band. Hopefully after studying music and computer science at USC, I will be able to integrate these two fields in a way that can positively impact the community around me.

  1. How useful will the Intertech Foundation scholarship be in funding your studies?

Although I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else for college, the University of Southern California is very expensive. The Intertech Foundation scholarship puts me one step closer towards graduating loan-free, and I am very grateful to be receiving the award.

  1. How do you feel about entering a male-dominated field?

Computer science is a male-dominated field, and often times, as a woman, I find myself receiving help that I do not want and never asked for. In order to really learn something, it is important to make mistakes. So, when coding, don’t be afraid to mess up and do something wrong.  Be confident in your abilities and take some time to try solve your mistakes on your own!

Congratulations Alexina. We look forward to hearing great things from you in the future!

Intertech Foundation Awards 2016 STEM Scholarship

Intertech-Foundation-LogoAlexina Boudreaux-Allen has been selected by the Intertech Foundation board of directors to receive its $2,500 STEM scholarship for use in 2016-17. Boudreaux-Allen plans to study computer science and hopes to combine art and technology during her career.

“My main academic goal while at USC is to get involved with the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). Receiving an internship there is one of my top priorities, which will allow me to explore emerging graphics technologies and applications, and possibly develop a career in the combined fields of graphics and virtual reality. . . I believe that computer science can only ever reach its full potential when combined with another field. For me, that field will be art,” explained Boudreaux-Allen in her winning scholarship application.

As I shared in the press release, Boudreaux-Allen’s application was outstanding because she demonstrates technology vision and practical thinking about how to achieve her goals.

View the press release on Intertech’s website.

Intertech Awards Scholarship to Stanford Student

The Intertech Foundation has announced the recipient of its STEM scholarship.  The scholarship is $2,500 and we recently awarded it to an impressive high school senior named Annina Hanlon.


Annina lives in California and she plans to study at Stanford beginning this fall. If anyone can find a way to combine science/technology with a noble mission to improve the world, I believe Annina is the person to make it happen. She has successfully battled cancer while continuing to build an impressive academic and extracurricular record. She also has channeled her personal health challenge into an innovative iPhone app to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

Here’s a Q&A with this extraordinary young woman:


Q: Why are you interested in computer science?

A:  It all started when I got my first laptop. I was wonderstruck by the simplicity and perfection with which the beautiful device functioned, and my desire to learn about technology was born. As a witness to the way technology has permeated the everyday life of the average person, I see the relevance and excitement in learning to code and affecting millions in unforeseen and beneficial ways. My dream is to use what I learn to help those in need, not necessarily just design the “next big thing” for those who can afford it.


Q:  When did you first decide on a computer-related field?

A:  I didn’t officially decide on a computer-related field until just this last year. I knew I was interested in technology for awhile, but I hadn’t tried actually coding. This last year, I learned Java in AP Computer Science A and loved it, and that was the deciding factor for me.


Q:  Did you have any educational or extracurricular experiences during your k-12 years that helped you decide on computer science?

A:  My interest in actually pursuing computer science as a career blossomed when I was first introduced to coding in a technology camp during the summer after my freshman year of high school. I learned to use drag and drop coding software, to create an iPhone app.


Over the course of that summer, and the following summer, I spent about 180 hours designing the children’s game, Zarno, as a fundraiser for the nonprofit my family started, Cure Me Too Childhood Cancer Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.  Zarno reflects my first computer science-related accomplishment and I am extremely proud of having it published in the app store. The limitations of the software I used to create the app are part of what inspired me to learn how to actually write code.


Q:  Why did you select Stanford?

A:  Many factors contributed to my decision to select Stanford. Beyond being a world class university in an ideal location in terms of weather and proximity to

Silicon Valley, Stanford also has a unique interdisciplinary major called Symbolic Systems. It is basically the study of how computers think, how humans think, and how the two interact, and it incorporates studies in computer science, psychology, philosophy and linguistics. Within that major, I hope to specialize in either artificial intelligence or human-computer interaction.


Q:  Would you be willing to share your thoughts about the value of the Intertech scholarship to your academic journey?

A:  I am incredibly grateful to be the recipient of an Intertech scholarship, as it will decrease the financial burden on my family as I pursue my education at Stanford. Merit based scholarships are generally not given at top universities, so scholarships like this are extremely helpful.


Q:  Is there anything else you would like to share for others, particularly young women, who may be considering a computer science career?

A:  I would advise young women to not be intimidated by the “bro-culture” of the technology industry. Being in the minority can be an advantage as companies seek diversity, and it can also be an opportunity to empower other women to follow their passions. “Be the change you want to see” is some of the most solid advice ever given and is an excellent mantra by which to live and work.