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Sharing Her Passion for Computer Science 

When senior Zarin Rizvi was younger, she knew her mother worked in the computer science field. She’d ask about her mom’s work but really didn’t understand it. 

As Zarin got older her interest grew. So did her comprehension of computer science. She took some online courses, and her mother mentored her.  

In August, as part of the Norton Fellowship program, Zarin taught computer coding to students ranging from 5 to 14 years old at a YMCA in the New Haven area.  

“I was mentoring students who had experience, but also teaching younger students who had not interacted with coding or computers in that way,” Zarin said. “It was great to work with a variety of students and see how their love for coding developed over the course of the program.” 

Zarin said she would group the students in terms of experience and interests, “so if they really wanted to do something related to sports or art, for example, we could code something in those realms.” She said she also enjoyed seeing the kids collaborate with one another when in smaller groups. 

Zarin enjoyed seeing and hearing the students’ excitement. “I learned how valuable it is to share your passion,’’ she said. “I know I never would have gotten into coding if not for my mom, so I am glad I was able to be the first step for some kids.” 

Zarin is taking College-Level Computer Science B this year. 

“I’m interested in the computer science field in the future, and one reason I wanted to do the summer program is that I am interested in diversifying the field, and we had kids from various ethnic backgrounds and genders,” she said. 

Senior Zarin Rizvi, 2023 Norton Fellowship recipient

Senior Zarin Rizvi: “It was great to work with a variety of students and see how their love for coding developed over the course of the program.” 

Computer science appeals to two sides of her. 

“I am a very technical person, but I also have the artsy and creative side,” Zarin said. “So, I really like that in computer science you are solving problems, but there are so many approaches you can take. It’s harnessing not only the technical skills of solving a problem, but [also] how you approach it. Each solution can be as unique as you want. Plus, there are so many things you can do with computer science. … There are so many applications of computer science, and some really meaningful ones that could help us in the future. It is a universal tool.”  

Zarin is the leader of the Computer Science Club at Loomis Chaffee this year, and she is hoping to work with others in the club on instructional videos and tutorials that kids at the YMCA could use on the four laptops that she donated through the generosity of the Norton Fellowship program. 

The fellowships, administered by the Norton Family Center for the Common Good, enable selected students to pursue their interests and become more engaged with their local communities over summer break. Students must apply and, if chosen, each receives up to $1,000 to help complete the project.   




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