Meet Rebecca

This iD Tech alumna was recognized by the White House after founding nonprofit CoderDojo NYC.
Now, she's Technical Head of Product at Next Caller and a powerful advocate for girls in STEM.

Rebecca is an advocate for youth and minorities in tech, especially women. But that isn’t just a title—she’s making things happen.

“We’re here on this planet to make meaningful connections,” she says, “worth more than a ‘handout’, or being treated differently as a ‘hand-up’—we want ‘handshakes’, to be included.”

Born to Hispanic and Asian immigrant parents who instilled the significance of education and philanthropy in Rebecca from a young age, she began teaching herself to code at fourteen years old.

Just seven years later, her passion for tech and helping others led her to co-found CoderDojo NYC, a non-profit organization that provides free and open access to web, game, and app development platforms for youth ages 7–17. CoderDojo NYC boasts an impressive 50/50 gender split and its students are ethnically diverse.

In 2013, Rebecca became the youngest U.S. White House “Champion of Change” for Tech Inclusion at the age of twenty-two, and the recognition didn’t stop there. The next year, Rebecca was named one of Glamour magazine’s “Top 35 Women Under 35 Changing the Tech Industry”. In 2015, she was named one of the “Top 99 Outstanding Women” by AskMen.

She’s been featured in dozens more articles, and for good reason. After co-founding CoderDojo NYC, she was a Developer at Do Something, the largest U.S. nonprofit for youth and social change. Do Something breaks down large campaigns—like expanding the representations of women in cinema—into manageable steps for youths to take action on.

Rebecca then transitioned to CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of Greatist, a fitness and wellness media startup dedicated to accessible and maintainable healthy lifestyles. Not long after that, she became a Developer Evangelist at Squarespace, a company that provides the resources for people to build their ideas on the web.

Other accomplishments for Rebecca include speaking at Girls Who Code, mentoring at the Technovation Challenge, and representing TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) in the NYC area (an initiative to get STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—into underprivileged schools).

A self-proclaimed “Jill of all trades,” Rebecca now works as the Technical Head of Product at Next Caller, helping to grow the next generation of Advanced Caller ID and fraud detection. She also does speaking engagements where she talks about technology “with a special blend of mindfulness and authenticity”.

She has spoken internationally in Japan, Ireland, Costa Rica and Guatemala, as well as across the United States. “I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my story as a first-generation Mexican, Filipino, and Japanese woman in technology, and to encourage more women and minorities into STEM.”

Rebecca says she realized the power of technology at iD Tech Camps.

“My journey began as a 14-year-old girl at iD Tech Camps held at MIT, giving me an early chance to explore my passions. Two weeks there changed my life; I was introduced to the idea of technology as a fun and exciting career, and not some lofty idea for engineers hiding in a lab.

Once I graduated high school, teaching at iD Tech Camps and helping other youths find their passion in an open learning environment stuck with me.”

Rebecca wants girls (and boys!) to know there are opportunities out there to follow their dreams, no matter where they might come from.

 

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