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Riteka Murugesh ’21 shares tech passion

Senior Riteka Murugesh was featured in a Women’s Equality Day article about women in STEM, in which she talks about her involvement with Saint Francis Girls Who Code and Robotics clubs. You can read her story below. 

In addition, Riketa was selected as one of four finalists for Reinvented Magazine's "Reinvented Woman of the Year". She's the only high school student finalist for that category (the others have received bachelor's or advanced college degrees). 

From : “Women’s Equality Day: Three Women in the STEM Space to Learn From”

My name is Riteka, a student at Saint Francis High School. You could probably say that I am a computer science fanatic or a fanatic of all things tech! Being a board member of my school’s girls who code club and of our FRC Robotics team, I’ve not only been able to expand my knowledge but also help teach and expose more students to the world of tech and computer science. Furthermore, I’ve also had the honor of spreading my interests in tech through organizing three hackathons along with the rest of the board members of our girls who code club. Recently I’ve also founded the CodELEVATE Initiative where we strive to eliminate disparities in tech education, mainly web dev and GitHub.

What Women’s Equality Day Means To Me

All of these experiences I’ve had, would have been absolutely impossible without all the life-changing events from the beginnings of the women’s rights movements to modern STEM organizations and mentors who are motivating young girls and young women like me, and that’s one of the reasons why Women’s Equality Day is so significant. We’ve seen so much progress by inspiring organizations and individuals to bring that equality, and this day is to honor and celebrate those actions while motivating us all to do what we can to foster equality ourselves!

All-Girls Hackathons

Along with the rest of my high school’s Girls Who Coard Board Members, I have organized three all-girls (genderqueer, transgender and non-binary inclusive) hackathons. Namely, they were AnitaHacks at Netflix, AdaHacks II at Google, and our recent virtual HopperHacks @ Home supported by Facebook. Each of these hackathons has had over a 100 attendees, and HopperHacks @ Home, in specific, had participants from four unique countries and 18 states across the nation. Each hackathon also had numerous corporate and community partners who supported the hackathon.

Elevating CodeELEVATE Initiative

I recently founded and am the president of an initiative called CodeELEVATE where we seek to provide basic web development skills and GitHub skills to motivate students to create websites. I actually got this idea when I was coding a website for our local gardener! Within just a week, we even recruited team members from California, New Jersey, Canada, and India, and even have a partner organization supporting us from the UK. We are planning to share our curriculum with middle and high schools and also host workshops in the Fall.

Learn more about CodeELEVATE here.