Meet Bold Idea Mentor Loveena

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Meet Loveena Cherukunnathu, Bold Idea mentor, world traveler and data engineer. See how a high school programming class led to helping young girls write their first ‘Hello World’ today.

What is something many people don't know about you?
I love traveling and want to travel the world. I have been to 17 countries so far, which isn't a bad start.

How did you become interested in technology and programming?
I took a programming class as an elective in high school that used Alice. It is a drag and drop block coding platform where you can create scenes and stories. That was my first project and I was intrigued so I took another semester. We learned Java in the second semester and I was hooked.

What did you study in college?
Information Systems

What are you working on now?
I am a Data Engineer now. The past two years, I have been working on a cloud migration project.

What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
I like mentoring because I get to learn new skills like Artificial Intelligence and review old skills like Python. Also, learning what children are into these days is always interesting...back in my day, Fortnite meant 14 days.

I have gained a lot of great memories with fellow mentors and students. I have 2 favorite moments.

Day 1 of Fall 2018 semester, there was a new student who had never done programming before. I helped her print her first "Hello World". That moment was memorable because it took me back to when I first typed those same words, it changed the rest of my life.

Second favorite moment was explaining binary to children and their parents at the Dallas ISD STEM Expo. Some parents were absolutely shocked by the fact that computer could only understand 1’s and 0’s. Watching their expressions change with the new knowledge and their eagerness to learn more was priceless.

Is there anything that you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
Keep practicing.

What is it about Bold Idea's mission that really connects with you?
I like how Bold Idea is reaching out to children and introduce programming to them. I like the environment Bold Idea creates for the children. They get to create games and projects on their own with the knowledge they gained from doing hands on projects throughout the semester. Bold Idea plants the seed and the children come back year and year to learn more.

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