Yasmine is fueled by a passion to leverage technology for good. She's the CEO of ROAR for Good, a B-corp aimed at reducing assaults against women using smart safety wearables and empathy education. She also brought Girl Develop It to Philadelphia, a non-profit aimed at lessening the gender gap in technology. In addition, she sits on the board of Coded by Kids, a non-profit that helps inner-city youth learn how to code. Yasmine was selected as one of the BBC's 100 Women of 2016 as well as Upstart 100's most dynamic people shaping business. She was also recognized as one of Philadelphia Magazine’s Top 20 Best Philadelphians for her work empowering women.
With groups creating programs to encourage females to consider STEM, what is the biggest barrier to entry that is still prevalent today?
There are a lot of groups creating programs to get girls to get into coding which is amazing. I wish they existed when I was younger. Girl Develop It is aimed at meeting women where they are today (over 18) to help them get into web and software development. One barrier I see is the absence of apprenticeship programs that can help aspiring developers gain real experience as they're learning their new skills.
What or who inspires you?
I've always been drawn to cheering for the underdog. I'm inspired by individuals who overcome the odds stacked against them to preserve and achieve their dreams.
What is your proudest moment/accomplishment?
I'm most proud of graduating college. When I was 15 and applying for universities, I came across a field asking for a social security number. I didn't know what it was and went my parents who contacted an immigration lawyer. A few weeks later, I learned I was considered undocumented (even though my family had intentionally been plucked from a bomb shelter in Kuwait because my little brother was American). I went through almost a decade making $5 an hour working under-the-table jobs trying to survive. I knew education was going to help me escape from my situation. I wasn't able to apply for scholarships or obtain loans due to status so I worked two-three jobs while attending Community College and then Temple. I graduated summa cum laude with a Business Management degree after 7.5 years despite the challenges I faced.