WATT is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 by two Holy Names students as a way to introduce girls to computer science at a young age.
Mackenzie and Laura graduated from Holy Names Academy in 2016. Both just finished their undergraduate degrees: Mackenzie at Villanova and Laura at the University of Washington.
Their inspiration for starting WATT is rooted in the mentorship that they received as young women, and the belief that continuing the cycle of mentorship is an opportunity to grow personally and to uplift the computer science field for women.
Meet the Core Team
We are a team of Holy Names juniors and seniors who run the organization. We create the curriculum, recruit volunteers, teach classes, and manage the day-to-day operations.
Core Team Leader
Hi! I am a junior at Holy Names Academy and I have been programming for two years. I first joined WATT as a volunteer last year, and helped run the virtual Fall 2022 Web Design sessions. I love WATT because I love being part of such a compelling initiative and I hope to make even more of an impact as a core team leader. My goal is to expand WATT to public schools and areas where girls may be even more underrepresented in STEM fields, so that they can gain exposure, discover their passions, and pursue them.
Core Team Leader
Jasmine is a senior at Holy Names Academy. She has been taking CS classes and doing robotics since elementary school. Jasmine is dedicated to community service, especially in roles involving outreach and education. Through WATT, Jasmine hopes to support girls and enhance inclusion in STEM.
Isabel is a senior at Holy Names Academy where she is a member of the robotics team. She first got involved with WATT as a student in the program and now enjoys being able to mentor future generations of girls in stem. She plans to pursue an education and career in computer science and hopes to one day work in cybersecurity and encryption.
Hello! My name is Maddy and I am a junior at Holy Names Academy. I started coding when I took a computer science class given by WATT in middle school. I hope that by teaching with WATT I can return the favor and inspire more girls to join the field!
Social Media / Website Manager
My name is Lauren Jackson and I'm a senior. I am involved in WATT because it's important that young girls feel supported in any endeavour they choose. When I was that age I would have loved to have a female mentor who supported my interest in STEM. Computer Science being a heavily male dominated field can make pursuing STEM daunting but I hope with WATT I can make a difference in the lives of young technologists.
Meet the Board
We are a team of Holy Names alumnae who guide the organization at a higher level. Having been on the core team previously, we are committed to WATT's mission and driving the organization's long-term goals and vision.
I started WATT back in 2015 with my friend and colleague, Laura, while we were Holy Names Academy juniors. I am so proud of the impact WATT’s team members continue to make! I graduated from Villanova University in May 2020 magna cum laude with a BSc in Computer Science. I am currently a PhD student in Computer Science at King’s College London, researching how to mitigate the harms of AI decision making. I completed a PhD internship with the UK Government's Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation in London over the course of 5 months in 2022. When I'm not working on PhD research, I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant for courses like Machine Learning, AI, and Big Data Analytics and a STEM Ambassador inspiring young people (and especially girls!) in the UK to learn more about and pursue STEM in their studies and careers.
I am a Junior majoring in Computer Science at Santa Clara University. I was first introduced to computer science in 8th grade when I participated in a computer science camp. Through computer science I uncovered various solutions to improve my life such as developing and implementing my own calculators and websites. If you asked me in middle school if I would be interested in computer science, I would have laughed and told you, “CS is attractive for only boys” or “It's too nerdy”. Jump forward to today, I’m excited to pursue a career in CS and have made a commitment to inspire young women that they also belong in STEM. From that point onward I have participated in every CS opportunity possible. I have taken all the CS classes available to me, joined STEM clubs, taught students through WATT, completed two software engineering internships, and a product experience testing internship at Apple.
I took my first computer science class my sophomore year of high school, and since then it’s been one amazing adventure after another. Getting involved in WATT was one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made, and it helped me discover my passion for the use of technology in education. I graduated from the University of Washington in 2022 with a B.S. in Computer Science and am now a software engineer at Microsoft working on the Edge developer experiences team.
I’m a junior at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo studying computer science. I fell in love with coding as soon as I saw “Hello World” print on my screen for the first time. I was the core leader of WATT in 2016-2017 and had an awesome time giving young students an opportunity to learn how to code. My passion for outreach has continued in college where I have lead numerous outreach events for k-12 students to teach them about engineering and computer science. I have been an officer in Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers since my freshman year and I currently serve as the Tech Director for a club called Women Involved in Software in Hardware, leading our many software and hardware workshops and projects that we do through out the year. I am also a project lead in Cal Poly Robotics Club where I am working to build an electric, Bluetooth skateboard. I interned last summer at Discover Financial Services doing Application Security and will be interning at GoDaddy this summer doing Software Development for their Digital Crimes Unit. I’m grateful for programs like WATT and am excited to see the next fierce generation of computer scientists!!