Mercedes Martinez is one of 3 winners of the Girls in Tech Phoenix Computer Science Scholarship sponsored by Axosoft.

Read on to learn about Mercedes’ favorite part of the Girls in Tech organization and how she plans to use her skills from the Bottega full stack developer program to get involved with education!

Short bio:

I am a catering assistant with 12+ years of experience in food service and retail. I am currently working on-call as a catering assistant. I have wanted to learn programming skills since I was young. I recently started taking computer classes, earned a CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification and completed a JavaScript basics course. These experiences deepened my desire to get into tech. I was recently accepted into another full stack developer program that ultimately fell through. I decided to apply to this scholarship so I could move forward in my pursuit for a new career in tech as a full stack developer.

Mercedes Martinez

How did you hear about the scholarship opportunity?

I first heard about the scholarship opportunity at a Security+ study session with a group called “Arizona Advancing Athenas”. One week later, I was sent a link to the scholarship page by the computer coordinator at Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center and decided to apply after viewing the scholarship FAQs.

Do you have any tips for others completing scholarship applications?

The best advice I have to give for someone completing a scholarship application is to give as much as you can in your responses. I was really nervous about opening myself up in my application. Even though I was nervous, I learned a lot about myself and found the process to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience upon completion of my application.

What part of the Bottega program are you most looking forward to?

I am especially excited to learn the Python programming language and learning how it can be used in different applications.

What do you hope to do in tech after you complete the program?

I hope to be able to use my skills to become a developer and get involved with the education industry. I would especially love to work with educational establishments who help language learners or students with disabilities. I also hope to someday mentor or tutor other women who are transitioning to IT.

What first sparked your interest in tech?

The first time I developed an interest in tech, I was around 10 or 11 years old. My brother taught me how to view page sources, create html files using notepad and to create links between files. We would make pages with a bit of text and a few links that were basically interactive stories. The text would tell you the story, and the links would progress the story based on the choices you made. It was very simple, but I thought it was so exciting that I could make a story with different outcomes. I have since maintained my fascination with how applications are built behind the scenes.

Is there anyone in your life that motivates or inspires you to pursue tech?

My mom is currently working toward her Master’s Degree to help her build her dream career. I always wanted to be a developer since I was young and watching her achieve her dreams inspired me to pursue my own dream of being a developer.

What is your favorite part of the Girls in Tech organization?

My favorite part of the Girl’s In Tech Organization is the overall community. Everyone so far has been so welcoming and helpful and I am looking forward to meeting more of the community at the Girl’s in Tech events.

Thanks to Axosoft, this scholarship is possible! Axosoft launched the #ItWasNeverADress campaign in 2015 to ignite a conversation about women (or the lack thereof) in the tech industry. This scholarship is to help make the tech industry a more diverse and inclusive landscape. What does the #ItWasNeverADress movement mean to you?

The #ItWasNeverADress campaign inspires me to look at the world and myself differently. I have always struggled with seeing my own strengths and accomplishments. When I started looking around at all the women in my life and the amazing things they are accomplishing every day, I started to believe in myself more. It helped me to find my own strengths and feel confident that I could be successful too.

For more information about Mercedes, connect with her on LinkedIn.

Thank you to all of the scholarship applicants and congrats to the winners! Your support is crucial in our mission to increase female representation in tech! Don’t forget to also check out our Q&A with scholarship winners Ashley Ferguson and Aine Fitzgerald Coleman.