My Name Is Kelly Sebes — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Kelly Sebes

I love a good mystery. In high school, I became fascinated by one of the oldest — the rise and fall of ancient Rome. I wanted to unlock this rich history, so I signed up for Latin class and began reading stories like Vergil’s Aeneid. Each sentence was a clue that brought me closer to understanding who these people were and what they had hoped to achieve. But these questions were not exclusive to ancient Rome.

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My Name Is Andrew Vit — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Andrew Vit

Like many engineers, my story starts with a computer. When I was 10, I started fiddling with desktop publishing on our family’s Macintosh — one of the earliest computers you could do this kind of work on at the time. As I grew older, my playful exploration became more of a valued skill. I started doing odd jobs for people after school, creating business card designs and small company logos.

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My Name Is Ashley Thompson — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Ashley Thompson

I have always aspired to make connections and take care of others. Initially, I thought I would do this with animals. I studied biology in college with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. However, something unexpected happened while waiting tables to support my degree — I became attuned to people. My work as a server taught me lessons that I still think about today.

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My Name Is Shannon Sauvé— This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Shannon Sauve

I have always loved to explore where my curiosity will take me. We had a big backyard growing up, and I loved to run around with my brothers and invent new games. During family road trips to U.S. national parks, such as Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, we would expand our games to a grander scale — hiking our way through the natural treasures. But there were quiet times too, when I would draw, paint, and sculpt.

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My Name Is Barry Paul — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Barry Paul

I discovered my two great passions in high school — windsurfing and computers. I loved spending time with my dad on the water, speeding through the waves near our home in Ireland. I also loved being part of a small computer club. I was fascinated with how I could visualize the math and physics I was learning in school, creating my own simulations of planetary orbits. Read more…

My Name Is Madeleine Black — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Madeleine Black

It started with a big book of code. At 8 years old, I was given a guide to BASIC. The idea was that you could copy the code from the book to create simple computer games, like hangman. Once I had copied every line in the book, I started altering the codes — tailoring the games and ultimately building my own versions. I loved the logic of the code and also that I could transform it into anything I wanted it to be. Read more…

My Name Is Mark Crowe — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Mark Crowe

I grew up in paradise on the island of Maui. I was surrounded by natural wonders and many different cultures. But early on, I realized how important it would be to get out and see other locations, cultures, and people. In high school, I had the opportunity to attend a month-long program at The University of California in Los Angeles. Listening to lectures from executives at companies like Coca-Cola and Smucker’s, I started to get excited about the off-island world. Read more…

My Name Is Michel Billard — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Michel Billard

It is amazing what you can do with a couple lines of code. I learned this as a teenager when I started playing around with basic HTML on our family computer. I must have gotten pretty good at it because my parents asked me to build a website for a hockey tournament they were organizing. They wanted to put the final scores online once the game ended — nothing a few lines of code could not do. Read more…

My Name Is Monica Jacob — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Monica Jacob

I got the “gift of gab” from my Cuban-Italian family. I was a chatty kid who loved to scribble down my thoughts. Words helped me stand out. Most notably in first grade, when I was asked to write a one-page essay on Peter Rabbit and instead turned in a six-page dissertation — detailing the fuzzy critter’s many ups and downs to my classmates. Read more…

My Name Is Shawn Zenz — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Shawn Zenz

You could say I grew up in the middle of nowhere. (“Nowhere” is an hour outside of Toronto, to be exact.) The remote location lacked the amenities of a big city, but we had something else — the space to learn without distraction. I spent hours taking apart and reassembling dirt bike engines, small electronics, and computers. Even as a kid, I knew there was so much more to explore beyond my rural hometown. Read more…

My Name Is Nataliya Soloveva — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Nataliya Soloveva

It was my first job out of college. I was a teller at a small bank in my hometown, close to where I went to college in Tennessee. Our customers were my neighbors, friends, even my dad’s co-workers — I was truly serving my community and my community gave right back to me. The bank managers took the time to teach me what they knew and I learned the struggle and joy of building small businesses from our customers. Read more…

My Name Is Lisa Crowell — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Lisa Crowell

Kindness, effort, and integrity. As hard-working immigrants from Sicily, my parents instilled these values in my sister and me. They emphasized the importance of education and taught us to always see the good in people. My dad especially gave me motivation to excel and often shared sage advice. But I had no idea how much the following words from him would impact my life. Read more…

My Name Is Tyler Knappe — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Tyler Knappe

The universe is vast. And I have always wanted to explore it. Art, business, philanthropy, astronomy — I am interested in it all. When it came time to enter college, I was interested in two distinct areas: creativity and problem-solving. Computer science and astronomy seemed like an ideal blend, so I chose both as a double major. Read more…