Where are you from?: Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan
School/grade/major: Lawrence Technological University, Senior, Computer Science
Last thing you searched on Bing: YouTube
Why did you choose Microsoft’s fellowship program? I chose Microsoft’s fellowship program because it combined two of my passions (computer science and community outreach) into one position that allows me to make a positive impact on the Detroit community.
What’s your favorite technology that’s improving Detroit? My favorite technology that’s helping improve Detroit is Microsoft’s new software PowerBI. I have been working with PowerBI over the past few weeks and I have created some awesome visualizations with data extracted from Data Driven Detroit (D3). PowerBI allows user to create stunning visuals that are loaded with informative information.
What projects are you working on for your position as tech fellow for MSFT Chicago? As the MSFT tech fellow for Detroit, I am working on several projects including: help initialize a Civic User Testing Group (CUTGroup) for the city of Detroit, help D3 build a data coalition for the city of Detroit, assist in building programs for MSFT YouthSpark program, building visualizations using PowerBI to help impact the community, and developing a “top 40” for the city of Detroit to discover what Detroit citizens want most in their communities.
What excites you about civic tech? What excites me about civic tech is its hybrid nature of technology and community outreach. Being able to be part of a movement that combines data analytics and community outreach is beyond exciting. Civic tech is revolutionizing the way communities are being rebuilt and to be a part of this amazing movement is a dream come true. I hope to make lasting impact of the city of Detroit that improves the quality of living for generations to come.
What’s one problem you hope civic tech will solve for cities? One problem I hope to solve with civic tech is the high poverty level in cities like Detroit. When the quality of living is poor for so many people, it creates holistic environments that drive people to do whatever is necessary to survive. High poverty, in my opinion, equates to high crime, so I strive to be an agent of change that helps build economically broken communities into economically stable communities, which will lead to a higher mean household income for the city of Detroit, diminishing poverty, and lower crime rates. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” and until the suffering communities are shown the same focus as the striving communities, Detroit won’t reach its full potential.