Four Hartford Students Wow Facebook by Pitching their App
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — Four young women from Hartford visited the Facebook headquarters to pitch their tech idea to the social media giant.
Channel 3 spoke with the students who said they spent last week in the Silicon Valley pitching their idea while inspiring countless people of color with their skill, spirit, and ingenuity.
Last October, the four girls from Hartford were brought together by the non-profit organization, “Girls for Technology.”
The after-school program is committed to empowering young women to become tomorrow’s leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math, or better known as, STEM.
Channel 3 spoke with President and CEO of the group, Sabrina Tucker-Barrett who emphasized the importance of the girl’s involvement in the group.
“There is a huge need for STEM representation and stem within girls of color that I’m hoping to be able to fulfill in the state of Connecticut,” said Tucker-Barrett.
Senior Elyece Patterson, Senior Natalie Best, Junior Chelsea Cranford, and Sophomore Angelique Phillips were tasked with creating a “chat-bot” or game that would solve a problem in their community.
“We all talked about different experiences we’ve had during the summer at internships or regular jobs and we realized that sometimes we weren’t prepared for certain scenarios that we had faced,” said Patterson.
In just one month, the girls developed “Eboni,” a “chat-bot” which focuses on being a mentor to black youth as they navigate their first jobs.
“She basically guides you through how to wear your hair or style your clothing and even how to talk in a professional workplace,” said Cranford.
As quickly as the girls created it, “Eboni” gained the attention of those at Facebook. Last week, the girls headed to the company’s headquarters.
In no time, they became a finalist in the 2019 Facebook challenge, “Engineer for the Week,” Achievement Summit and even won the Best Social Impact Award after beating teams from across the country.
“I would say just because someone puts you in a box doesn’t mean you have to stay there and that you don’t have to become what people think you are or say you are,” said Best.
The fab four is proving the sky is the limit, as they work to help close the gender and racial gap when it comes to STEM opportunities.
“For me being a female from Hartford, it really shows that we can break through certain barriers that people place on us,” said Patterson.
Next up for the girls, they said, is to bring “Eboni” to market and make her accessible on all platforms.