Having moved to Boston only five years ago, Shannen spent the first fourteen years of her life in a small city in the Philippines. Despite the limited access to quality STEM education, Shannen pursued computer science early on through web programming and modded games. When she moved to the US and entered the ninth grade in Boston Latin School, she has since recognized the need to address and to take action about the disparities in education not only for her friends back in her home country, but also for her fellow classmates at BLS.
Near the end of her sophomore year, she founded the Bsie Committee along with a few friends with the mission of advocating for a better social and academic support system for “bsies,” students who enter BLS in the ninth grade and only make up 10% of each graduating class. Through the implementation of personalized mentoring programs and social events, her team was awarded the “Service to Community” award by the school. Leaving BLS, Shannen feels infinitely proud having made a difference in strengthening the bsie community.
After school, Shannen can be found at Revere High School with her city’s robotics team, the NUTRONs, in which she is the Boston Latin School president. Her team is devoted to spreading their knowledge of STEM and robotics, with many of their outreach efforts having a large regional or global influence. Through organizing efforts to support local communities such as teaching robotics to younger students and planning affordable summer camps in the Greater Boston Area, Shannen has developed a strong passion for helping others.
One major technological undertaking that Shannen has pursued is founding an elementary school robotics team in the Philippines through Greater Boston 4H Robotics. Through the collaboration of professional mentors from both her team in Boston and those in the Philippines, Shannen was able to develop the Intro to Robotics course and provide expandable opportunities to underrepresented students.
As a student who was born and raised in a third-world country, Shannen witnessed firsthand the influence of active and supportive local governments. This summer, Shannen will be working alongside Massachusetts State Representative Adrian Madaro and his team of accomplished public servants representing the Suffolk District. She hopes to contribute to the future of better schools, community buildings, and programs that lead to concrete changes within the formation and foundation of communities.