Stichting NewTechKids is fortunate to have supporters all over the world.
One of them, Aurora Gonzales, ran the 4K4Charity Fun Run at IBC in Amsterdam on September 16, 2017. Not only that, she brought a squad of five other runners from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands with her.
Runners and sponsors raised almost $40,000 which will be donated to Heifer International and Stichting NewTechKids. We’ll be using the donation to support diversity and inclusion initiatives which deliver computer science education to ‘Rising Technologists’: primary school students under-represented in computer science education (girls, minorities, children in low-income communities) and teachers who have never taught technology classes.
We asked Aurora to explain why she participated in the 4K4 Charity Run and why she supports the provision of computer science and technological literacy education for children, starting from a young age.
Tell us about your career in tech.
Aurora: I’m a digital ‘knowmad’ wih a specialization in IT. I have a footprint in the different countries where I’ve worked which include the U.S., the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Poland, Denmark, Spain and Germany. After my university studies, I landed in the energy and telecommunications industries, focusing on technology. I started as programmer but have grown progressively into leadership and change management roles.
Why are you taking part in the 4K4Charity Run?
Aurora: I am a committed professional who has used long-distance running to balance my personal and work life. Participating in charitable activities is one way in which I give back to the community, especially as it relates to tech.
How have diversity and inclusion in the tech industry affected your own career in tech?
Aurora: I have a diverse background. While I have roots in Europe where my parents are from, I grew up in Latin America and was educated in U.S. My working life has been in the U.S. and Europe where international environments have have provided me with a nurturing environment to develop and grow. I have been selected for positions exactly for my professionalism, expertise and ‘different’ profile to ‘shake and change’ programs.
I have mentored more than I have been mentored. It is part of who I am that I compromise very little in life. My USP? We all must find our Everest. As companies and leaders, we must nurture talent and keep encouraging the people factor for personal growth, excellence and rewards in all we do. We have the chance to create an impact not only in the context of our bottom line but also in the lives of those who make our companies successful.
Tell us about the squad of runners you are bringing to the 4K4Charity Run from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands? How did you convince them to participate?
Aurora: Running is a huge part of my life. I am bringing two nephews (from Spain and Germany), a super-girl also named Aurora, one of my great colleagues from Dusseldorf, and his friend who lives in Amsterdam. We all are big supporters of young talent and three of the runners are young talent themselves. We all truly believe in investing in children and nurturing them to be the next generation of technologists, innovators and entrepreneurs. We fully support the work that Stichting NewTechKids is doing and want to see it expand internationally.
(Photo of Aurora on the right with the Stichting NewTechKids running squad.)