The Student of Vision Abie Award honors young women dedicated to creating a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build. This year's winner is Chiara Amisola, an incoming college freshman at Yale University from Manila, Philippines. She plans to major in computer science.
First encountering technology at the age of seven — post-after school ballet practice and pre-Warcraft II gaming session — Chiara picked up web and basic game development before turning it into a long-time hobby, and later into a passion and vocation. After several years of international experience in competitions and research with the Philippine Robotics Team, she began to recognize the disparity in inclusiveness and accessibility within the technology sector, finding a gap where students with the most socially-conscious and transformative ideas towards innovation had no opportunity to even enter the tech landscape.
In her desire to turn students from every background into leaders for innovation across the Philippines, Chiara founded Developh — a club in her high school — in 2016. The group was founded to improve STEAM and computer science education, build the next generation of creators, and nurture impactful student-led innovation through education, accessibility, community, and opportunity. Today, Developh has grown from a club of 40 students to a global nonprofit, impacting more than 40,000 students across Manila and beyond, connecting a community of student developers as the next generation of change.
Chiara's perspective towards the computing education movement focuses on access and equality, and encouraging girls and students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to engineer solutions towards social issues affecting life in the Philippines and beyond. Programs of Developh's programs include DevEd, student-created technology resources for adaptation and distribution in various schools and communities across Metro Manila, online hackathons inviting students to create for pressing problems, meetups and trainings, outreach missions to spread tech to various communities, project incubators, and more. As the President of a constantly growing global organization, Chiara fronts Developh, believing that each student's drive for creation should constantly be built upon.
Outside of Developh, Chiara is driven towards empathetic and concrete change. She is the Co-founder of Batid, a startup network of sociopolitically-driven applications, of which the titular application was developed in response to the Philippine climate. Rooted in digital humanitarianism to move and alert communities, Batid has been published in international emerging technologies journals, and was a finalist in the Philippine National Microsoft Imagine Cup. It was also recognized in various hackathons and by the Philippine government.
Chiara has interned at several startups in the Philippine technopreneurship scene, and has volunteered at different organizational initiatives with missions, including gender equality and female empowerment, fair politics and good governance, and mental health and wellness. She also explores identity, society, and innovation through tech blogging, challenging the world as a rising girl in tech and exploring empathy in a field where it is most needed but least considered.
Leading Developers' Society and delving into her own projects, Chiara realized the need for a drastic turnaround in the technology scene — a need that is shared by areas around the world, from Silicon Valley to the Philippines. She treads boundaries and seeks to break them, fighting for equality, access, and championing technology as the platform of change for all.
You can follow Chiara on Twitter: @devsocietyorg
Thank you to FactSet for sponsoring the 2018 Student of Vision Abie Award.