Frei Sangil

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Coding Out of Poverty: ICT Skills and Coding Workshop for Girls in Rural SchoolsPhilippines

Frei Sangil is a data scientist specializing in cryptography and cyber forensics. She co-founded the research and development company Layertech Software Labs, Inc. in 2017, and remains as its President. Frei is a staunch advocate for inclusive digital transformation. She has led a number of research and design and inclusive tech deployment projects with both local and international partners, many of which received recognition locally and globally.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Coding Out of Poverty: ICT Skills and Coding Workshop for Girls in Rural Schools

The hybrid online-offline project empowered 10 teachers and 50 girls in grades 6-12 from rural schools, through training on ICT skills including basic coding, python programming, practical electronics, and cybersecurity—skills that will help them gain an advantage and survive and thrive in the digital age.

The project began in-person, where the themes were introduced, and learning kits were distributed, including all of the materials the girls would need while learning about coding and electronics. The project then transitioned to a virtual format to support students from rural areas in continued learning. Mentorship was provided on a weekly basis to each student as she learned new skills and put them to use in various projects. From little to no background in programming, to presenting Python-coded programs and robots, the girls successfully demonstrated the power of inclusive and gamified learning. The project culminated in a "Coding Recital" at the end of the program, with 70 people were in attendance, and the students presented what they learned over the course of the project. The attendees included parents, teachers, local decision-makers, representatives from government agencies, and potential future employers, which is a testament to the influence the project had on the broader community. As a result of the project, the local government unit of Legazpi is now exploring ways to continue similar initiatives in the future, to bridge the skills gap, especially for marginalized communities. Many of the participants have also shared with their teachers their intention to pursue science and technology courses for their university undergraduate degrees.

"In today's fast-paced world, coding is essential, and this program aligns with our goal of acquiring new skills for our future careers. It's already enhancing our logical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and patience. We're grateful for this opportunity."- Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Frei was a participant in the IVLP Project Hidden No More: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM, organized by the U.S. Department of State and FHI 360.

Frei's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award project: "Growing up with very limited resources and opportunities in my province, I've always envied the more well-off countries and the tools and opportunities that they have. This is true for many students and girls in rural areas... As a child, I could only see MIT and Caltech, and NASA in books and TV. But being there in person, and meeting and speaking with these inspiring and amazing scientists and engineers left a very powerful message: You are not alone in this advocacy, you have allies, you have resources, and above all-- YES, IT'S POSSIBLE! We can bring Science and Tech to where it is needed the most."

US Communities Visited

Los Angeles, CA; St. Petersburg, FL; Boston, MA

"The IVLP experience and meeting my STEM sisters exposed me to a wide range of new opportunities, networks, and lessons that will help me as I work on this advocacy of inclusive digitalization." - Frei Sangil

Country: Philippines 

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