Megan Foo's Blog

Our Featured Givologist of the Week: Dorothy Chen, Tech Associate

[b]Megan Foo: What is your background? [/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] I was born and raised in northern New Jersey, and graduated from Montville Township High School in 2012. I’m currently a sophomore at Princeton University—it seems I’m a New Jerseyan through and through—where I’m studying computer science. Outside of my major, I enjoy taking classes in psychology and statistics. I also love swimming, bad sci-fi movies, and creamy peanut butter.
[b]Megan Foo: Why did you decide to volunteer for Givology? [/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] Givology’s mission and vision both really resonated with me: education is such a powerful influence on so many aspects of our lives. In addition, the success of the crowd-sourcing model really impressed me, in particular Givology’s ability to put individual donors in touch with various projects across the globe. This technological approach that Givology uses to empower donors also makes it possible for all of us volunteers to make impacts not only in our local communities but also around the world. As a tech associate, I love that I am able to play a part in this empowerment.
[b]Megan Foo: What inspires you about Givology’s mission? [/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] The first is the importance of education itself. Even the most minimal of educations can make a huge difference in not only socioeconomic status, but also in personal decision making and health; I feel that every person should have the opportunity to learn. The second thing that inspires me is Givology’s team. The dedication and drive of everyone involved is incredible, and it shows in Givology’s constant growth and progress.
[b]Megan Foo: Can you tell me about your experience as Givology’s Tech Associate?[/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] I’ve been in this role for about three months now. When I signed up to volunteer, I mentioned that I was a computer science major and that I had an interest in technology. Joyce immediately put me in touch with Phil, the CTO, and I got started!
As I said before, one of the things I love about Givology is its technology-based approach that connects donors with projects. As a tech associate, I work with the rest of the tech team to make this process as effortless as possible. Since I started, I’ve been a part of two major projects. The first is a revamping and update of the payment and wallet system. We currently use Google Wallet for this, but the service will no longer be supported—Google is shutting the program down come November—so we have to switch to a new provider. The second project is an update of the website! We are currently in the process of building and migrating to a new website that should look similar to the old one, but also should be easier to manage both content- and design-wise. It’s a long process and a lot of work, but it’s extremely satisfying.
[b]Megan Foo: What are your hopes for Givology’s future?[/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] I think Givology’s future is bright—Givology is a constantly growing organization. New volunteers are signing up every day and more and more people learn of us via social media such as Facebook or Twitter. I feel that this growth, especially in an entirely volunteer-run group such as Givology, is both a powerful motivator and an indicator of our success so far. In a different sense, Givology is also growing in the number of projects and partners that it has. There are a great number of nonprofits that wish to help others and are founded on amazing ideals, and joining forces benefits not only both groups but also those in need. Along with its growth, I believe that Givology’s outreach to other groups is something essential. Furthermore, as time progresses and technology becomes more powerful, Givology can only be better equipped to help.
[b]Megan Foo: What does education mean to you?[/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] Education is individual empowerment and something that is capable of leveling the playing field; I feel that education is one of the greatest opportunities that a person can have and that no one should have this prospect denied due to external factors, such as the lack of money. In my opinion, this opportunity is worth every bit of effort spent in both the pursuit of my own education and the support of others’ learning.
[b]Megan Foo: What do you enjoy the most about your volunteering? [/b]
[b]Dorothy Chen:[/b] I enjoy the fact that I can use something I love, technology, to help others in something that I feel strongly for, education. By doing what I love to accomplish something I have a passion for, I never stop feeling motivated to do more. I also love being able to see the impact of what I do, something that Givology’s approach of focusing on individuals’ stories makes possible. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear others’ stories and to read the letters that they send in.

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