About the Ambassadors
Allen School Ambassadors conduct CSE outreach to K-12 students, both on the UW campus and through school and community visits, especially focusing on students from underrepresented backgrounds and students without CSE experience.
Meet Our Ambassadors
As the main point of contact for high school students interested in applying to the Allen School, any prospective high school students can email us with any questions at email@example.com. We encourage you to read the ambassador bios below and mention in your email any ambassador(s) that you resonate with and would like to personally talk to. Otherwise, any member of our team will reach out to you soon!
Chris Kang (he/him)
Hometown: Richland, WA
Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics Major
Heyo - I’m Chris. I’m a junior majoring in CS, Econ, and Math. Why am I in three majors? I’ll be honest: some days I’m not sure if I was meant to be a CS major. But, I’ve realized that CS thinking is applicable across fields: being able to break down problems and build solutions is immensely empowering. I may not love coding, but I love knowing that I can tackle any problem.
In the future, I hope to help others, though I’m not sure how (yet!). Out of class, I read books (from many genres), hang with friends, and feed my addiction to fizzy water.
Esther Chien (she/her)
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Computer Science Major, Philosophy Minor
Hello hello! I’m Esther, a junior majoring in computer science. When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut or a food critic. It wasn’t until my first year in college that I began to entertain the possibility of studying computer science. I was so captivated by the problem-solving nature of CS and its wide breadth of applications that I declared it as my major. As an ambassador, I aspire to increase the awareness of CS among younger generations and promote diversity within the field. I’ve also been a teaching assistant for the introductory programming series, hoping to inspire more students from a non-tech background to pursue CS. In my free time, I enjoy playing violin, watching nature and history documentaries, and listening to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto on repeat.
Geovani Castro (he/him)
Hometown: Lynnwood, WA
Computer Science Major
Geovani is a senior studying Computer Science. He’s really passionate about empowering underprivileged students that come from a similar background to him. He didn’t start coding until his sophomore year of college, yet what drew him to CS was his interest in technology. He enjoys stressing to students that we outreach to that you don’t need to love programming to enjoy being in CSE, that rather bringing your other interests into the major makes it an even more enjoyable and unique experience. Some of his other interests include cooking, playing the guitar, and anything music/art related.
Lynn Nguyen (she/her)
Hometown: Burien, WA
Computer Science Major, Informatics Minor
Hello! I’m Lynn and I am a sophomore majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Informatics. Even though my middle school and high school did not offer any computing courses, I discovered my interest in programming in high school through experimenting on Scratch and exploring the field on my own. I became an ambassador because I want to help more students like me receive earlier exposure to computing and to also help close the gender and race gap within the field. As a first-generation college student, I am also passionate about increasing college access and am involved with college mentorship in Hey Mentor outside of CS. In my free time, I like to draw, play the piano, binge new anime, and go on food adventures in Seattle with my friends. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out, especially if you're new to computing!
Neha Jagathesan (she/her)
Hometown: San Jose, California
Computer Science - Data Science Major, Education, Learning, & Society Minor
Hi everyone! Neha here! I first heard about Computer Science through an introductory programming course at my high school, and have been coding ever since. I come from a really tech heavy area of California, and didn’t really feel like I belonged in technology until I found my interests in college. I’m interested in the applications of machine learning to social issues such as educational equity, racial health disparities and climate control. Other than CSE, I play club volleyball here and in the past I’ve worked with the Dream Project and Pipeline project. I am passionate about my South Asian heritage and what it means for me as an engineer. I love fashion, discovering new authors and books, and being outside! I am an ambassador because I believe that a valuable education is a right, not a privilege. Feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions.
Rachel Ye (she/her)
Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Computer Science Major
Rachel is currently a sophomore studying Computer Science, and she grew up in Bellevue, WA. She discovered computer science in 9th grade by joining the robotics club, and she made some great friends in robotics who guided her as she learned coding. She became fascinated with the problem solving aspect of coding and how it’s related to multiple other fields, especially education and diversity. Since then, she discovered her passion for interacting with K-8 students and exposing them to computer science, which led her to be involved with Girls Who Code, ACM-W and the Ambassador program!
Simplicio DeLeon (he/him)
Hometown: Harrah, WA
Computer Engineering Major, Dance Minor
Simplicio is in his fourth year of Computer Engineering. He’s from a small town in Central Washington called Harrah. He developed an interest in technology when he started doing robotics in his high school science club where he started off as the team programmer and eventually did both programming and building/design. He enjoys programming projects but has his most fun when he gets to play with sensors and hardware which explains his interest in robotics and the Internet of Things. He became an ambassador because he loves volunteering in education and believes it is important to have more diversity in STEM. Outside of the tech and academic worlds he loves to dance and play video games.
Tara Sirosh (she/her)
Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Computer Science Major
Hey everyone, I’m Tara! I began exploring computer science when I joined my high school’s robotics team. However, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to pursue CS until my senior year of high school, when I began to learn about how intersectional it can be. I’m still learning about the many different pathways computer science offers, and I want to share that knowledge with as many people as I can! I joined the ambassadors because I want to make computer science easily accessible to underrepresented populations and make the tech community more inclusive as a whole. Outside of CSE, I do jiu jitsu and am involved in the South Asian Student Association here. I also love to bake, and I’m always looking to expand my book collection so reach out to me if you have any recommendations or questions!
What We Do
We represent the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering in K-12 outreach and recruitment efforts. Below is a brief highlight of what we have done in the past year!
We host several 3-4 hour long workshops on Saturdays throughout the school year at the Allen Center that are free for participants. These workshops are typically an introduction to programming for students with little to no experience. If you are interested in attending a workshop, sign-up for our newsletter here to hear when registration opens.
We currently offer four (4) workshops:
Scratch: Scratch is a drag-and-drop programming language catered towards elementary and middle school students. We offer both Introductory Scratch for students without programming experience, and Advanced Scratch for students with some programming experience.
Processing: Processing is a text based programming language typically for older middle school and high school students. We offer both Introductory Processing for students with little programming experience, and Advanced Processing for students with some programming experience.
We have several small-scale "portable" activities that can be tailored to a variety of environments. These activities are best for temporary spaces such as STEM nights and open houses, and are typically an introduction to computer science concepts.
We offer events such as career and student panels, workshops, and info sessions that can be held at local high schools. If you would like to contact someone about hosting an event at your school please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, position (student, faculty, admin, etc.) school, and type of event you would like us to host.
Throughout the school year we offer tours of both the Allen Center and the Bill and Melinda Gates Center for groups of all sizes. If you are interested in seeing our facilities, submit a tour request through our Tour the Allen School page.