I’m Aditi Patil, a young professional in the STEM field. I’m determined not only to pursue my own interests in computer science, but to inspire and encourage other young women and minority women to do the same.
I am the founder of XX Coders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and educating female and minority interest in computer science and narrowing the racial and gender gap of participation in this field. For far too long, women and minority groups have been underserved by the STEM community, leading to shocking underrepresentation both in academia and in the industry. Even when they do dedicate their lives to this field, they often face stigma and discrimination from others. As someone who never expected to go into computer science myself because I was told it was “nerdy” or “for boys,” I believe it is important to do my part in making a change and fighting inequality in the field.
I am currently a senior at HSE, but I am proud to announce that I have officially been accepted into Columbia University. I will be attending New York’s prestigious university in the fall of 2018.
I created XX Coders with a goal that is twofold. By inspiring young women to get involved in this booming industry, and support and educate minority female I can help them find a new perspective on their careers and their futures. And in doing so, I can help close the gender and racial gap in computer science.
I’m determined to provide a safe and encouraging space for women in STEM so that they can reach their full potential. The more they get involved in the industry, the more we can make companies diverse through race, gender, cultures, and backgrounds. The tech industry can only truly move forward and become efficient if we have professionals from all kinds of backgrounds to give their input.
As long as I can remember, I have been a research-driven individual myself. However, it wasn’t until high school that I realized this suited me well for computer science. I started out by taking an Introduction to Java Programming course as a freshman, where I noticed only two other girls had registered for AP computer class. I then enrolled in a summer coding boot camp at the Flatiron Academy in New York City. I wanted to take these experiences and use them to help me found XX Coders. Ever since then, I have worked to help women and minority women find their own unique places in the STEM field.
Through XX Coders, I am also interested in bringing computer science education to other underrepresented groups of people such as socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with special needs. With the cooperation of the local school district’s Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA), the XX Coders team work one-on-one in conjunction with young children who are on the autism spectrum. I also interned at My Space My Place Blind Coding Camp.
I am currently an Ambassador for Youth Programs for Samarthanam USA, a nonprofit charity dedicated to supporting people with disabilities through various community initiatives. I also support human rights through discussions and fundraisers on behalf of Amnesty International.
In addition to these community efforts, I also actively volunteer and intern in a neighboring town called Wyandanch, which suffers from low rate and quality of education for its residents. I have led all kinds of initiatives, whether this means creating free summer coding programs for students and leading fundraisers for underserved schools to receive school supplies. My work in Wyandanch has led to a significant uptick in opportunities for local students, and I have even earned news coverage from major outlets for my efforts.
I balance these activities with yet another research-heavy facet of my life: writing. I am the STEM editor for my high school’s newspaper, the HSE Thunderbird, and has written multiple articles. I also participate in school’s Academic Team.
I am also an ambassador for Peerlift, a unique, completely student-run organization that focuses its efforts on providing one-of-a-kind experiences for high school and college-age students. The program connects students to a variety of opportunities, such as internships, scholarships and even study abroad programs.
Here is my biography featured in the HSE Thunderbird:
Aditi Patil is currently a senior at HSE. After working diligently with the Thunderbird for two years, Aditi is incredibly eager to begin serving as the STEM editor. Aditi is closely involved in extracurricular activities and clubs at HSE, and is a member of the Mathletes, Academic Team, and Amnesty International; she has also taken the initiative to found XX Coders, a new club that starts this fall for girls interested in computer programming. Aditi Patil looks forward to an exciting school year full of interesting news regarding STEM, and another great year for the HSE newspaper.