Cohort Member Abia Zahir

Abia Zahir

Cohort 1 - SIP Member Since 2015

Virginia Tech

Computer Science, Cybersecurity

C’2025

BIO

Abia Zahir is a college freshman attending Virginia Tech. Since 2015, she has been a
member of the STEM Impressionists Program (SIP), a non-profit organization that
supports minority girls in exploring STEM.

 

In school, Zahir was the vice-president for the ‘Just World InteractClub,’ which aims to
promote multicultural understanding and advocate for social issues through food,
games, presentations by invited guest speakers.

 

As well, she has taken part in multiple SIP activities from judging the VEX IQ/EDR
competitions at regionals and state, crafting and presenting at the Scratch Conference
2018- a technology seminar for teachers and educators held at MIT, and the ACTE
2018 conference for educators in Washington D.C.

 

Abia was recognized for pursuits in technology and has been awarded the 2020 NCWIT
Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Honorable Mention and in 2021 the NCWIT National Honorable Mention Award for Aspirations in Computing. In addition, Ms. Zahir has received the 2021 Amazon Future Engineer $40,000 scholarship and has
recently completed an internship with Jane Street’s Unboxed Program over the summer.

This year she has earned a grant to attend the 2020 Grace Hopper Computer Science Conference.

 

Ms. Zahir plans is studying computer science in college and continues to explore her passion for STEM and business.

Achievements
  • 2021 Amazon Future Engineer Scholar
  • Featured in the Ellen Show alongside Chris Pratt
  • 2021 Burger King Scholar
  • 2021 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing-
    National Honorable Mention
  • 2020 AAUW Inclusion Award
  • 2019 Fairfax County INTEL Regional Science Fair, 3rd Place in Physics: ‘Cell Phone Radiation’
  • 2020 Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python), University of Michigan & Coursera
  • 2020 Hermela Assefa, Building a Team: Identifying the Leaders Around You
  • 2020 IBM AI Foundations for Educators
  • 2020 Boys and Girls FIRST Program- Alumni Student Speaker
  • 2020 Maret Independent School STEM Education Conference, Panel Speaker
  • 2018 Scratch Conference: Sharing Responsibilities for Learning.
  • 2018-2019 George Mason University/NOVA Labs Maker Faire
  • 2018 Jefferson Overseas Technology Institute (JOSTI)
  • 2018 SmartBrief’s 4th Annual STEM Pathways Summit
  • 2021 Jane Street’s Unboxed Program
  • 2019 Bright CS Camp Educator & Curriculum Designer
  • 2019 STEM Into Spring, Leadership Team: Parent Panel Organizer

Looking Back At SIP

When I joined SIP- I knew I was in love with STEM but I wasn’t navigating the process of my story and how STEM is an extension of who I am and what I’ve ought to become. Since I was young, I was always intrigued by coding. Originally, my goal was to become a software engineer because I believed that was the end game of engaging with coding. But through SIP’s Speaker Guest Series, I was able to speak to a wide range of women leaders from different tech companies: Product Managers, female leaders in the military, and software engineers.
 
Ms. DeHart’s emphasis on creating the Speaker Guest Series to build connections and network with women leaders has impacted my outlook on what I could do, in that I can envision myself in an executive role. We consistently invited and networked with women leaders- we spoke about our story on how the members came together, our purpose in amplifying girls of color voices, and the questions we seek to learn more about the STEM and Business industries. As we continued through the process, it grew my love for the business aspects in the STEM-field and has impacted my aspirations into becoming a tech-entrepreneur.
 
Ms. DeHart’s constant guidance in building connections and encouraging me to share my stories has given me a clearer vision as to becoming a tech-entrepreneur and getting to know myself better through sharing my STEM journey. My dreams have become vivid and transparent as I’ve continued to work with Ms. DeHart. Her advice: from her experiences being a woman in business in addition to supporting my truth has been overwhelmingly a positive experience and I am forever grateful for being part of my journey to success.
Skills Highlights

Resume Summary

Self-motivated freshman computer science major with 5+ years of practical experience in creating and delivering innovative STEM seminars to adult educators and MS/HS students. Technical proficiencies include Java and Python. Creative problem solver with proven project management and team-oriented skills.

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