Laura Rosiles, an eighth-grade student at Sun Ridge Middle School was recently named one of 40 finalists in the nationwide contest, ProjectCSGIRLS, which promotes technology and computer science among young female students.
Rosiles is one of four Texas students and the only one in the El Paso area to earn the distinction for her project: an application which helps migrant families in the El Paso community find shelter during the work season.
“I’m very excited about my project,” Rosiles said. “Immigration is a major topic and every year thousands of immigrants come looking for a better life and have no family or support. This app will reach out and help many people.”
Her application, Aiding Immigrants, allows users to select a city to locate and learn about immigration shelters in the area. She was inspired to create the app after her school’s gateway to technology instructor Roberto G. Morales, and campus librarian Rebecca Carrillo introduced the project.
“Laura has never been a student in my class but I’ve known her since sixth-grade due to her involvement in science fair and the Lego robotics team,” Morales said. “Her accomplishment does not surprise me and she developed this app with the intention of helping others, a characteristic that all of us should strive to replicate.”
Because the project was not class assigned the student had to work on it during her own time. Rosiles said she didn’t mind because computer science is something she is very passionate about.
“Many people assume computer science is a guy’s job but technology is for everyone,” she said. “I had previous coding experience so I designed most of the application on my own, but I did look at YouTube videos or ask my mentors like my dad and teachers at school for help when I got stuck.”
Rosiles will be recognized for her innovation on June 3-4 at the ProjectCSGIRLS gala in Washington where she will give a presentation about her application to attendees nationwide and compete for the top five grand prize award.
“This will help me gain experience so that I later develop my app even more,” she said. “I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to make it better. I would like to have different language options and create a way for the organizations to contact the individuals.”
ProjectCSGIRLS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in computing and technology. To learn more about the organization, click here.