At some point in our education, many of us find that we don’t truly understand an idea until we have to teach it to others. Concepta ’23, a Berea College student double-majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, learned this lesson as a teenager after teaching herself how to write smartphone applications and becoming president of her high school science club. Though Concepta mastered the basics on her own, her learning truly took off when she began teaching at a technology camp north of her hometown in Uganda. There she taught coding and robotics to children while also helping her peers with building websites and prototyping.
“I’ll try to teach from different angles, and we’ll work our way through it together,” Concepta said. “I enjoy this part most—when I am equally learning from teaching others.”
Now Concepta’s work continues at Berea College, where her leadership and academic talents earned her the Labor Program position of lead teaching assistant in the Computer Science department. In this position, Concepta helps students with the finer points of software engineering and manages other junior teaching assistants. This experience served her well during her two summer internships with Microsoft, where she helped develop a healthcare app and create new functions for popular enterprise programs such as Microsoft Excel.
Artfully organizing work responsibilities has been key to Concepta’s many successes here at Berea College. It’s how she manages her rigorous academic and labor schedules while also coordinating free coding lessons for her Ugandan countrywomen on the weekends. It’s also how she successfully leads the Berea College chapter of Girls Who Code (GWC), which she founded in 2019. GWC offers computer science training for women in an effort to increase their representation in the computer science workforce, which is only 22 percent female today.
After achieving such great personal success while still serving others, it will not be a surprise that Concepta says her “grand goal is to set up a school back home in Uganda” to give women there a hopeful chance to support themselves and their families.
She envisions “a vocational school specifically geared toward providing women with skills like tailoring, cooking, and baking, in addition to computer science training. Gender income inequality is a major issue everywhere, and especially at home. I would find so much joy in using my skills to address this,” she explained.
Concepta certainly has big dreams and is just one of numerous talented Berea students whose futures will be impacted by Berea’s new Computer Science, Digital Media, and Information Technology Building. There, students such as Concepta will learn and grow into challenging and rewarding careers, all with your help by supporting Berea College and this essential work to give Concepta and future students spaces to learn like no other in a future-forward building.