Meet Valentina Nicolini, a Code/Art alumna and 2023 high school graduate attending the University of Miami where she’s double majoring in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. Valentina has been a Code/Art club instructor as well as a contestant for multiple years. Read the interview below for insights into her experience with Code/Art programs!
How were you first introduced to Code/Art?
I started when I was pretty young when I was in sixth grade or seventh grade. I was part of the first Code/Art Club in the Pinecrest Library when I was in middle school with some of my friends.
What were some takeaways that you got from these experiences with Code/Art?
I learned how to use my creativity in a completely different way! I learned the basics of coding through Code/Art’s creative coding curriculum. The program taught me that anything you can think of can be coded. For example, I remember that we were learning multiple different coding spacing that included how to code apps and also learning how to code on a more creative side like coded self-portraits. Overall, I learned a lot of different lessons that are all very useful to me even now that I am in college.
Let’s talk about some future plans. What university are you going to and what are you planning to study?
I am attending the University of Miami. I am double majoring in applied mathematics and computer science while also minoring in finance.
Do you think Code/Art played a role in your decision to go into tech?
Definitely! Prior to my experience with Code/Art, I had no experience with coding or tech. I started off with a summer camp where we learned Scratch, and those camps were very intense. They required us to sit down for hours and code. It made computer science feel very dull and boring, but, when I joined Code/Art, my mind lit up! After that, I enjoyed tech and wanted to study something related to it. Technology became my favorite subject. Another part of Code/Art that was important to me was the career spotlights. I used to think that career spotlights were so cool. After seeing the descriptions of these jobs, I realized how massive the tech world is and how cool these jobs are. Ultimately, Code/Art had a huge impact on my career choice!
To wrap up our interview, considering your experience, would you—when talking to a younger girl—recommend that they take part in programs like Code/Art and if so, why?
Yes, 100%. I think that a girl should participate in the Code/Art’s program, especially if she’s interested in tech or unaware of what the tech world has to offer. Code/Art clubs help bring you to an understanding of basic levels of coding, advanced levels of coding, and help you find your own levels of creativity. This is very important, in this day and age, because a lot of creativity is being lost when talking about tech. We need to push for more creativity and inclusion in the tech world!
Thank you for sharing your story with us!