Fellow Profile: Rosemarie Encarnacion

| Rosemarie Encarnacion, Microsoft Technology and Civic Innovation Fellow

Where are you from?

I am born and raised in the Bronx and my parents are from the Dominican Republic.

School/grad year/major:

I am a junior at Lehman College, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Sociology. I am expecting to graduate Fall 2019.

Last thing you searched on Bing:

Last thing I searched on Bing are “punny” halloween costumes. I wanted to dress up as a “key” and “board” but no one else finds this as hilarious as I do.

Why did you choose Microsoft’s fellowship program?

I was first introduced to civic technology at The Microsoft Civic Tech Fellow Demo night in early January. I was blown away by the work the NY Microsoft Civic Tech team did with Civic Graph, Tech Jobs Academy, and Translator. I am pretty sure my eyes went wide more than a few times as I hit several light bulb moments that made me realize this is it! This is how I can make an impact and I want to be a Civic Tech Fellow. I’ve had the fellowship on my radar ever since.
I knew this would be an amazing opportunity to use tech for good in NY communities.

What’s your favorite civic project in the New York area?

It is definitely Civic Graph. That’s the first civic project I was introduced to and it is an incredible resource for anyone to understand and visualize the connections between organizations collaborating with each other across the civic tech space in NY and all over the world.

Who is your civic tech mentor/idol?

I’ll be working with John Paul Farmer and getting mentorship from Briana Vecchione during my fellowship. Each time I’ve met them over the past several months, I’ve been awestruck by the wealth of knowledge they have on the civic tech scene. Their passion for the civic technology projects they work on is infectious.
I am excited to keep working with them and learn as much as I can.

What projects are you working on for your position as tech fellow for Microsoft New York?

I will be maintaining ongoing projects like Tech Jobs Academy and Civic Graph. I also look forward to working on more projects in the future and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

What excites you about civic tech?

The encouraged and often necessary collaboration between non-tech and tech groups to bring solutions and programs that could directly impact surrounding communities.
Civic tech is for all of us, no matter what your background or skill level is.

What’s one problem you hope civic tech will solve for cities?

Access to sustainable and affordable housing.

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