Portrait of Lauren (Dasani Madipalli)

Meet Lauren Siegel: Civic Tech & Accessibility Advocate

Dasani Madipalli

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I met Lauren through the Google scholars retreat and have been amazed by her ever since. I’m so excited to share her journey and story with the rest of you!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I just graduated from North Carolina State University majoring in Computer Science, Political Science, and Economics. Recently I finished up an internship on the data science team at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. I was also pretty involved on campus, and I care a lot about interdisciplinary education, tech policy, and equity & social justice (particularly as it relates to tech). I’ll soon be working at Google as a software engineer.

How did figure out what you wanted to do and how did you go about doing it?

As a kid, I discovered HTML through the online pet simulator Neopets, where I was able to customize my online shop’s text size and color contrast just by changing a couple numbers in the code. As a legally blind kid, I was ecstatic to find something that could make my digital world more accessible to me, and I spent hours playing with hexadecimal codes and inline CSS to make shopfronts and profile pages that were both appealing for others to look at and easier for me to read. Years later, I took a programming class and really enjoyed it, so I decided to major in Computer Science.

However, I always had a lot of different interests, and I knew going into college that I didn’t want to have to sacrifice my interest in the humanities & social sciences in order for me to study Computer Science. My family has always been politically engaged, and instead of shying away from difficult or painful conversations about politics & economics, my parents embraced them as dinner-time conversation. I grew up going to school board meetings and city protests, and I knew that I wanted to study something that would give me a better understanding of political structures and policies that deeply impact our lives. I initially decided to major in Economics and minor in Political Science through my university’s engineering & humanities dual-degree program, but at the start of my junior year I realized that Political Science was a better fit for my interests and I decided to convert my…

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Dasani Madipalli

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