Colleen's Foundation Event

I woke up at 6:30, just like I've been doing since BlueStamp started two months ago. I got ready as usual, stepped into my car as usual, and drove right past BlueStamp. For months now, I'd been waiting for this day to come. I was scheduled to spend the majority of my day in San Francisco, touring tech companies and meeting adults.

I mentioned it a while back, but there's more to my BlueStamp experience than just me and the robot. I found out about BSE through Wishbone, which I found out about through a guest speaker who visited my school. Wishbone connects students to programs that they can attend, then helps them fundraise for the program's tuition. I'm going to college soon, and I have another family member in college, so any programs that would cost more than a couple of hundred dollars were off the table. Tuition for BSE was actually a couple of thousand dollars. I applied to the program, showed up for an interview, and was accepted, but I still didn't know how I was going to afford it. My plan was to maybe get some help from anyone who was willing to donate, but I didn't expect to get anything significant.

Then, I got an email from someone who works at Wishbone. Apparently, I was chosen by Colleen's Foundation to be a recipient of their 2018 grant. My campaign had been fully funded, which meant that I could attend BSE pretty much for free. That by itself was insane enough. I got another email from the president of the foundation, who wanted to schedule a meeting in San Francisco. I'm one of five winners, and all of us are high school girls who want to go into STEM. That meant that whatever was going to happen in San Francisco was going to be really, really nerdy. I couldn't wait.

We met up at Triple Aught Design. They specialize in outdoor gear that integrates some pretty intense technology and thorough designs. Unfortunately, three of the five sponsorship recipients could make it, so it was just me, another girl, representatives from the foundation, and a few mentors from Salesforce. We were given a brief rundown of what Triple Aught does and how they do it, and got a pretty sweet gift: custom pre-release versions of Triple Aught's female clothing line. It was so incredibly cool that I didn't want to take it out of its packaging. I ended up having to anyway, since we wanted to take a picture of someone wearing it. If I had a really big picture frame, I would keep it on my wall like a basketball jersey. It's that cool.

Then, we walked to Peak Design, a company that makes products that help you carry photography equipment in a very secure and stylish manner. According to their website, they're the world’s most crowdfunded active company. Their office was probably my ideal workspace. As soon as I walked through the door, I heard chilled-out-vibes music, saw a neat hipster kitchen, and noticed a bicycle hanging from the ceiling. We heard a lot from one of Peak Design's engineers. She sounded like she loved her job, and it made me excited to think about what I could be doing if I were in her position.

We moved to Piper, where I definitely had the most fun. We met with a product designer who made sure that we felt comfortable touring around the office. After she showed us around, we sat in the kitchen and played around with their product: a computer kit designed to teach kids about things like LEDs, switches, and coding. I have her business card. I really liked talking to her, but I don't have a reason to contact her yet.

Finally, we took an Uber to the California Tennis Club, where we got to chat and have lunch. Their tacos and smoothies were amazing. After, we played around with Ozobot Evos and talked to the women from Salesforce.

That day would definitely go down in the book of "Best Days of Kriselle's Life". I loved meeting everyone, and learning more about tech companies was so cool. I hope that I'm able to provide something like that to someone else some day.