When Amiia Jackson tells people that she interns with Urban Engine, she typically gets one of two reactions. Both make her happy.
“They either don’t know what it is and I get to blow them away with everything that Urban Engine does. Or, they know what Urban Engine is and they are super impressed,” Amiia says. “I love that.”
If you come to CoWorking Night these days, you’re almost guaranteed to see Amiia – whether she’s greeting people at the front desk or polishing her networking skills among Huntsville’s startup community. What you might not see is the impression it’s all making on the 17-year-old.
“CoWorking Nights inspire me,” she says. “I sit at the front desk and greet people as they come in. I like how everyone wants to be there to talk about their ideas or help people with theirs.”
She adds: “Urban Engine helps me see that possibilities are endless. I hope this experience makes me brave enough to network in any room and to follow my dreams.”
One of those possibilities for Amiia could be in coding. At 17, she’s already created an app of her own as part of the LEGACY Project, an initiative by the State of Alabama to get more African-American girls interested in computer science.
In the app, users answer questions about their desired lifestyle. Their choices create a vision board with income needs and career options.
“I worked through a lot of bugs, and I’m not sure I solved all of them completely, but I am proud to say I created something that I found useful for myself,” Amiia says.
That interest in coding is part of what brought Amiia to Urban Engine in the first place. After participating in NASA’s SpaceApps Challenge last fall, Amiia realized she enjoyed an environment that mixed creativity with STEM.
A few months later, she attended the Women’s Her-Story panel – and quickly connected the dots.
“I really wanted to be a part of the team then. I liked how CoWorking night had the same atmosphere as SpaceApps. Cool creative people coming together to discuss nerdy things.”