Aloha! I’m Alex, and I’m interested in learning more about indigenous cultures and marginalized groups to help fix issues in society that these groups face using technology. I enjoy working with other people, and my most recent project reflects that. The project that I have worked on was a project connecting LGBTQ+ youth who may become or is homeless with resources to help themselves move forward in their own life. My team and I created a platform for LGBTQ+ youth to find resources that fit their needs whether it be shelter, food, or sexual education. The inspiration came from me becoming homeless for about two weeks after coming out to my mom, and I had no idea where to go in life. The platform we created seeks to change the feeling of being helpless to being self sufficient; a platform that provides the “next steps” for LGBTQ+ youth.
My affinity for using technology to help people within society has lead me to the skins workshop because it is the quintessence of what I believe how society and technology should be used. Using cyberspace to tell old stories through new media, and possibly creating new stories, is a way for native Hawaiian culture and language to be passed down to future generations.
I became interested in indigenous populations and marginalized groups after I transferred from the University of Hawaii at Manoa to the University of Washington in Seattle in 2016. Previously, I had no experience with racism in Hawaii growing up because I’m part of the majority, which made me blind to various parts of society. After experiencing it myself within the gay community, I started learning more about why racism exists and how I could change it. I started attending Asian-Pacific Islander events and started finding my own sense of identity, which led me to learning more about marginalized groups and their cultures.
Now, I’m going for my degree in informatics with a focus in human-computer interaction and possibly a degree in American ethic studies with a focus in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In the future, I hope to return home to Hawaii to get another degree in Hawaiian culture.