Five years ago, I decided I wanted to further my education in mathematics. Up until that point, I had been taking online math courses four years above my grade level. As I took my first steps into my new “mathy” middle school, I faced the reality for many women in STEM: I was the only girl in the room. Well, at least, the entirety of the sixth grade. This situation introduced me to the issues surrounding the lack of women in the STEM fields.

To share more about myself, I was born and raised in Tokyo and moved to Honolulu when I was six years old. When I was eleven, I moved to San Francisco where I first gained an interest in gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights. During this time, I learned how to code in Python and started a Gender and Sexuality Alliance. In 2018, I moved back to Japan, to the city of Kyoto, with the goal of learning more about my identity and culture. I am currently sixteen years old and pursuing my A-levels at Crimson Global Academy, a New Zealand-based online school.

Outside of school, I am the founder of SHEQUALITY, a social platform to empower young women globally. I was inspired to start SHEQUALITY after noticing differences in the way women were treated in Japan and the United States. For instance, the handling of menstrual products or the percentage of working mothers. This experience made me aware of the differences in feminism around the world. As of now, SHEQUALITY is a group of 15 girls based in ten different countries (Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Costa Rica, and more). I am also a proud Masason Foundation scholar and the leader of multiple clubs at my school. This month, I will be leading a programming event for middle and high schoolers in Tokyo.

Last month, I participated in World Coding Club’s First Hackathon and had a great time meeting students from different schools in Japan. In the future, I would like to improve my leadership skills and work with other students across to Japan to increase accessibility to coding, particularly for girls like myself. I’d like to see an increase in diversity among those in STEM fields in terms of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds. I am beyond excited to be a part of WCC and see future events come to life. I hope that in the future, there will be opportunities to interact with students around the world from different cultures through upcoming events.

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