A long-time Bold Idea volunteer, Elaine Torres is a mentor with a team of 7–10 year old ideaSpark students at the Frisco Athletic Center. She's also a member of the Bold Brigade (our brand ambassadors), lending her digital marketing talents.
How did you become interested in programming?
I took the convoluted approach to tech and programming. Initially my interest was in art. Traditional art, you know paint, drawing, sketching...etc. It wasn't until I discovered that I could take my drawings and convert them into digital pieces that I began to discover my love of technology.
Enter the Emerging Media Program at UT Dallas. This was something that was life changing for me because I discovered that I could combine my love of the arts with digital design. I grew fascinated with the "how" and the "why" the digital programs I was using were doing what they were doing and this led me to discover my admiration of the programming side of things.
What did you study in college?
In college I majored in Liberal Arts, and then at UT Dallas, Emerging Media Arts & Communications.
What are you working on now?
Right now I help other businesses with their digital design and marketing needs. Current projects include: A redesign of my current website, and assisting with the digital marketing for Bold Idea, and another technology group called Digital Dallas.
What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your favorite experience?
So much. I have always loved being a mentor. I have worked with children prior to my connecting with Bold Idea, and just love their energy and enthusiasm. I have taken that enthusiastic mindset into my own life and learned to "think like a kid" when it comes to entrepreneurial ventures. They are all in with everything they do, I try to do the same.
My most memorable moment ha ha...Has to be raining tacos. I worked with two little dudes (who shall remain nameless) to try to help them create an app or game that would bring awareness to recycling. That was the task, what they ended up with was creative, but didn't really bring awareness to recycling. One boy tried to stay on task, and the other well he had a desire to create a video with raining tacos everywhere and explosions, and space, and car crashes...and well I'll let you guess how their project ended up. While they didn't complete the assigned task, I noticed that they both had a creative streak that they might not have discovered were it not for this program. They worked together to create raining tacos, in space, with no car crashes caused because of the tacos everywhere. George Lucas would be proud.
Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
OH man so much. I was in a class in 7th grade that taught us DOS to create pictures on the computer...(totally just aged myself there) and I would tell myself to do MUCH better in that class than I did. Who knows what kind of 'THINGS' I could have created.
Is there anything about Bold Idea's mission that really connects with you?
The connection with the next generation of coders, designers, and technical minds connects with me. Children have so much potential and they are amazing little sponges. The more good stuff we put into them, the greater our world could be.