Hi! I’m Victoria Belveal and it’s my passion to inspire young women and girls to get into the STEM field. As a research officer for Sisters of STEM, it’s my job to do just that!! Every week a post gets uploaded to our Instagram that explains different types of STEM careers, spotlighting a woman in STEM, showing groundbreaking inventions/ discoveries, and simplifying the college application process. It’s been such an amazing time seeing young girls spark an interest in STEM!
I recently was accepted into the Boeing Company’s Summer Internship Program where I’ll be working with professionals and a team of highschool students to create a solution to a real world problem.
Throughout my entire life, I have been interested in the different fields of STEM. Next year, my senior year, I’m going to be taking my fourth year of Engineering and third year of physics- my two strong suits.
Before I started this internship, my knowledge of AI and CS was limited, to say the least. Over the past seven weeks of workshops and team meetings, I know more about these industries than ever before.
Even the simplest ideas were defined in such an understandable manner.
Now, if someone asks me what Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is, I can actually provide an answer that’s more than ‘a computer that thinks for itself.’ It is so much more than that!
Each and every one of the workshop speakers gave such an insightful and meaningful perspective that would've never have crossed my mind if I hadn’t been a part of this experience! For example, Shea Brown spoke on AI governance… My team was so inspired by his workshop that we used that topic to cultivate our project: the Federal Artificial Intelligence Administration (aka FAIA). To tackle the endless amount of sectors that had prejudice intertwined within them through AI, my team, Cohort 12, decided to regulate AI in a similar fashion to how the FDA regulates food: nutrition labels. By contacting government officials, creating a website, conducting endless research, etc., my team worked incredibly hard to present the best solution. We even won second place!!
My teammates were proficient in code while I had no clue where to even begin. None of them made me feel less important to the team because of my lack of coding knowledge. The inclusiveness my team reflects directly on CreAItivity. All of the mentors and executives, as well as the workshop speakers, were so welcoming and because of that, I flourished in this learning environment. If we had any questions, mentors gave excellent and usable feedback!
If you want to get into AI or CS please consider the CreAitivity AI Ethics Workshop! Especially if you are a girl or gender non-conforming. I worked with an all-girl team and it was such a positive and inspiring experience! The seven weeks went by so quickly and within it, you make friends while learning SO much. Somehow I kind of know how to code now? That’s seriously crazy!
You miss all the shots you don't take. I know this is a cliche but it’s completely true.
Like I said, going into this lab, I had no clue what AI even was. I couldn’t even define it. I came out as an educated and more conscious person.
The connections you make here… both from your teammates and professionals are ones you’ll treasure forever.
Using what I’ve learned at CreAItivity, from my peers and leaders, I feel even more confident going into the Aerospace Engineering Industry- my favorite area of STEM. What I’ve learned and improved upon here goes beyond how to code/ the understanding of AI and AI ethics. Being a team member comes with a plethora of responsibilities and my time in this program helped me work under a time constraint, analytical thinking, researching, communication, and many MANY more skills! They will stay with me throughout college and the industry.
Thank you so much to everyone that made this internship possible. And a huge thank you to the workshop speakers that dedicated their time to teach us the importance of AI. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was a blast!!