Tech4Girls Trinidad & Tobago Winner
Updated: Jul 5, 2021
In December 2020, GSMA & EQUALS hosted a Tech4Girls workshop in Trinidad & Tobago, funded by Verizon in partnership with Caribbean Girls Hack. The EQUALS team interviewed Anupriya Persadie, the Trinidad & Tobago Tech4Girls workshop winner, to find out what she thought of the Tech4Girls experience and learn about her plans for the future.
EQUALS editorial team: Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Anupriya: I am 16 years old, and I’m a fifth-form student currently studying sciences at school in Trinidad & Tobago, where I grew up.
EQUALS editorial team: What motivated you to participate in the Tech4Girls workshop?
Anupriya: I really love IT, but I wasn’t able to study it in school. So, I set myself a personal challenge, to do some IT courses and self-directed IT learning. Then, when I heard about the Tech4Girls workshop, I felt I just had to do it. And I did it!
EQUALS editorial team: Did you learn some new tech (or tech-related) concepts during the workshop? What are they?
Anupriya: Yes! The workshop focused on e-commerce, and we learned how to create our own website using Shopify. We learned how to find and use royalty-free images, how to set up the shop, how to keep track of stock and variations of stock, etc. We learned lots of interesting, cool and fun things!
"Nowadays, technology is everywhere, so we might as well just embrace it and have fun with it!"
EQUALS editorial team: What did you enjoy most during the workshop?
Anupriya: My interactions with the teachers and the other participants. The teachers were very friendly and approachable, and they really made us feel comfortable. They made everything easy to understand and learn, and it did not feel very hard or too challenging: it was pretty fun.
EQUALS editorial team: What was/were the most memorable moment(s) of the workshop for you?
Anupriya: I had the opportunity to participate in tech support. I loved participating in the “behind the scenes” action. It was really fun to learn about Zoom and how to manage Zoom. I was very curious about it because we are using Zoom for schooling right now. It was really fun to learn those new skills.
EQUALS editorial team: Can you please tell us about your final project? What inspired your idea?
Anupriya: We were challenged to use what we had learned to build a website. I brainstormed for a while, and then I thought, “There is COVID everywhere, what can I do to help?” A lot of people are stressed and their mental health isn’t the best right now, so I came up with the idea of building an online store that focuses on self-care items to help people de-stress, selling things such as aromatherapy items, natural candles and lavender soaps and self-care boxes to help people relax. I enjoyed categorizing the different sections of the store and the different product lines.
EQUALS editorial team: How has the Tech4Girls workshop inspired you to continue learning new tech skills or even contemplate a career in the tech sector or tech-based entrepreneurship?
Anupriya: I was already interested in tech, and the Tech4Girls workshop provided a really great opportunity to gain new tech skills through a hands-on learning approach. That kind of opportunity is hard to come by. The instructors made the tech module very fun and easy to learn. In terms of self-directed learning, I follow pages on social media that focus on coding or general IT themes. These are good sources as they offer a lot of tips to facilitate self-directed learning and help you to continue developing your skills.
EQUALS editorial team: How will you build on this tech skill set? Are there specific digital skills you would like to learn to deepen your new knowledge and to build your expertise?
Anupriya: I want to continue building my skill set: I want to really know how to take a business online, and I want to explore design and color schemes. There are some other things I really want to learn too, such as robotics and app development. I have started some programming, but I really want to go deeper into it.
EQUALS editorial team: What are your goals and dreams for your future?
Anupriya: I love technology because it gives me a platform to be creative without any boundaries or limitations. A lot of people think I am going to go into medicine, but I don’t think that’s what I want to do. I would rather use technology for medicine: for example, a couple of years ago, I learned about how technology was used to create a machine that could help with minor surgeries in the medical field. I want to be able to help in that kind of way because I am really interested in the humanitarian aspect of technology. That’s what my goal is right now.
EQUALS editorial team: Are there women role models you admire? What do you admire about her/them?
Anupriya: It might sound a little silly, but my first role model, that I can recall, was Tinker Bell, the Disney fairy, because she always used and upcycled items that she found to create new gadgets to help the other fairies to become more efficient in their tasks. She also solved a lot of problems using gadgets. She was very resourceful, and I really looked up to her and liked that about her. My second role model was Marie Curie. She was the first female scientist I ever came across. Before discovering her, I had only ever heard of male scientists. I was always wondering, “Why aren’t there any women?” It was really amazing to discover Marie Curie! She accomplished so much! She won two Nobel prizes! She was a professor of physics, and so many other things. She got me thinking that science is a really good field to work in.
EQUALS editorial team: What advice would you give to encourage other girls and women to explore technology and/or take part in a Tech4Girls workshop?
Anupriya: Just try it! I am sure there is something in the Tech4Girls workshop that you would like because technology includes such a broad range of topics. Also, ignore the stereotypes. Tech isn’t just for boys! It isn’t just for “nerds”. It is for everyone, and anybody can do it. Given how societies are changing, it is very useful. Nowadays, technology is everywhere, so we might as well just embrace it and have fun with it! I would encourage other girls to participate in the Tech4Girls workshops because the workshop makes tech fun and easy to learn and offers challenges that allow you to use your creativity. It gives you a forum to express yourself.
"I was already interested in tech, and the Tech4Girls workshop provided a really great opportunity to gain new tech skills through a hands-on learning approach."
EQUALS editorial team: Would you like to add anything?
Anupriya: I would say to other girls: tech may seem hard, but just try it! Take it one step at a time, like climbing a mountain: keep yourself motivated and you’ll get there!
More info about Tech4Girls: equalsintech.org/tech4girls
EQUALS Tech4Girls is supported by Verizon