Origin Stories

Wanda Eugene

I have always wanted to help people, but my strengths were math and science, and I didn’t see how to connect the two worlds. One day, several years ago. I was in the checkout line in a grocery store. I watched a man enter the store and inquire with a clerk about applying for a job to bag groceries. As the man was directed to a nearby computer to complete an application, I watched as disappointment and defeat came over his face, and he turned and left the store. The man looked to be in his mid-forties, but I was unsure about his education status, academic background, or skills and area of expertise. What I assumed, is that he lacked the basic skills needed to seek employment that would impact his earning capacity and change his life. This bothered me, because, though he probably had a lifetime of knowledge, he had no way of connecting it to the immediate knowledge he so desperately needed.

I have always believed that your greatest frustrations are normally the problems you are put here to solve. Thus, that day my passion of human-centered design & developing technology that empowers marginalized communities was ignited. Computing became my vehicle. Through a couple of lines of code I could become a humanitarian; with a well-designed application, I can connect and empower people to create their own technology, get resources to those in need, or even save a life.