‘Bring your talent and your passion and you will be unstoppable’

Tech award winner Leslie Sarango Romero, 16, talks about why it’s important for girl’s voices to be heard in STEM

Leslie Sarango Romero, 2019 Everywoman Ones to Watch award winner
23 October 2019
Leslie Sarango Romero

Leslie Sarango Romero

Leslie Sarango Romero, 16, created a virtual reality game called Eduscape that helps teens develop their interest in mathematics. Leslie won the 2019 Everywoman Ones to Watch award and is one of the judges for our girls with a cause competition in collaboration with Penguin.

I first encountered the premise of app designing when I entered a competition in Year 8. The process of creating an app sparked my interest which led to me hearing about the concept of Virtual Reality (VR). This inspired me to create a VR app because I felt like technology was underused in school, when it came to learning the most common resources were textbooks. Being a student myself I wanted to make education exciting and create a different learning experience to capture the attention of others. So myself and two others designed and created an app called Eduscape which is a VR escape room app that makes learning maths more engaging.

Being a student myself I wanted to make education exciting and create a different learning experience to capture the attention of others.

Winning the Everywoman Ones to Watch award

No words can describe what winning the Everywoman Ones to Watch award meant to me.  I distinctly remember the feeling of joy and pride that overwhelmed me and the waves of delight that emanated from loved ones. Winning the award not only made me feel gratified to be a woman in STEM but also to represent where I come from - and being a fellow Latina in STEM was such an honour. I felt grateful and honoured that I could spread the message to many young girls that it does not matter your age or where you come from but if you put your passion into what you love, there will be no limits!

It does not matter your age or where you come from but if you put your passion into what you love, there will be no limits!

Girls in STEM

STEM is the future and its way too important leave the voices of girls behind

The sad reality is that there aren’t that many girls in STEM, which I came to realise when I started college. It’s important to encourage girls into STEM fields and they should not be put off by the fact that it is dominated by men. It’s important that girls take part in as many opportunities as they can (like the competition in collaboration with Penguin!) and to join in learning about STEM whether through going to panels or being part of a girl’s STEM group. STEM is the future and its way too important leave the voices of girls behind.

The change starts with you

Never let go of your passion and you can change anything you want to

The best advice I can give is that if you bring your talent and your passion you will be unstoppable. If you are passionate about something whether it is STEM, music or something that bothers you, you can make an impact. Join local youth boards or start your own, join local organizations that support what you believe. The change starts with you. If you want your voice to be heard, then speak up. Every little change can make an impact. Never let go of your passion and you can change anything you want to.

If girls could solve one problem right now I would like it to be climate change. I know that climate change is such a big issue and I love to see people like Greta Thunberg that are my age and are already breaking barriers all over the world. She is passionate about her cause and is inspiring many people - including me.

Never underestimate yourself or your potential and you can do anything regardless of age, gender and background.   

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