Anna DeMars

Class of 2023-2024

Saint Mary's College
Business Administration & Statistical and Actuarial Mathematics

Why did you choose ESTEEM?

I chose ESTEEM because I wanted to find a program that would challenge me and give me the confidence to accomplish something meaningful. Since my undergraduate majors were so contrasting, it felt like I had to give one up over the other and decide which field to pursue. There were limited opportunities to blend the two majors, and I knew I wanted to continue my education. When I came upon ESTEEM it felt like I had found the perfect program to help me grow personally and professionally, while helping me leverage all my skills and knowledge. This program would also allow me to become fully immersed in the world of STEM entrepreneurship and directly apply my skills to a capstone project I am passionate about.

What is your Capstone Project and why are you excited about it?

Code Your Dreams (CYD) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization teaching computer science to underserved communities around the world as a vehicle for community action and innovation. CYD has served over 5,000 k-12 students and adults since 2018, through after-school and summer programs at schools, universities, community centers, park districts, libraries, prisons, and re-entry centers. CYD teaches nine total programs including app development, web development, data science, game development, creative coding, web design, and hardware development. CYD has an annual budget of $250,000 and 50 part-time staff members, including teachers and curriculum developers. Every class is taught on a volunteer basis. This capstone aims to improve and amplify coding education by implementing a “Chapter’s” system. This system aims to reach more educators and organizations, expanding Code Your Dreams; thus, delivering coding education to more students than ever before. This system will also simplify the process for administrators, making lesson planning more efficient and accessible. This will help expand Code Your Dreams beyond Chicago and make the platform more scalable.

What do you hope to do after ESTEEM?

After ESTEEM, I hope to work in a role related to education or sustainability, specifically in consulting or maybe a start-up!

What do you like to do in your free time?

When I am not working I love to run, go on walks, work out, crochet, read, play with my cat, or hang out with family and friends!

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