Posted by Kenz Mangan on Feb 15, 2023
We recently interviewed Yolanda Lozano, Cofounder & COO of CS Alliance and a CS faculty member at Gogebic Community College.
What is your name, preferred pronouns, title, and place of employment?
Yolanda Lozano, CoFounder & COO of CSAlliance/ CS Faculty at Gogebic Community College.
What’s your favorite CS experience (e.g. teaching, research, or other experience related to CS)?
A couple of years ago, a student approached me about starting a robotics club. We put a few fliers around the school and borrowed an old kit to build something we could drive through the lunchroom and the hallways to get some attention. We ended up with 40 students on the team and had to scramble to get enough kits for 4 full teams; one was a team of girls. That first year we won 1st and 2nd place in the New Mexico state championship. The following years the team worked to make sure that 7 more high schools had access to kits and were able to compete in robotics.
How long have you been involved in the CSTA?
What motivates you to be involved with CSTA?
It is simple: I want others to have the same opportunities I had. Coming from a low-income, rural, single-parent, Latino household to where I am now has been a journey full of chance, perseverance, and a lot of teacher support. I was fortunate to have a math teacher ask me if I was interested in taking a programming course in high school. That opportunity opened doors I hope to help open for students and teachers everywhere. My involvement with CSTA gives me the opportunity to help create and support a network of teachers that are interested in learning and sharing their own personal journeys.
What do you hope for CS education in the future? How do you believe CSTA will help in achieving this?
I hope that all students gain access to computer science and unlock their potential. Through sharing stories and resources, CSTA gives teachers the tools to plant and grow opportunities for students.
What else would you like to add that might be interesting to readers about you, your commitment to CSTA, or perhaps why others should also be interested in becoming involved?
My favorite things about being involved in CSTA is the enthusiasm and energy that is generated as a result of our common goals and a sense of belonging.