“Believe in yourself; you are capable of achieving your goals; stay focused on your purpose; and make an impact. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small project; always do your best and give your all into it “.– Elisa Torres Durney.
Hello! I’m Elisa, the 16-year-old founder of “Girls in Quantum.” Let me tell you about my background, goals, and aspirations.
I’ve been curious about learning since I was a kid. My childhood was filled with a variety of artistic and scientific interests, such as ballet dancing, painting with my grandfather, and later, joining the DIY and theater clubs. All while being an explorer and the happiest girl with her microscope. I recall playing with leaves, insects, and flowers, as well as going to a nearby mountain at night with my mother and a friend to observe the many frog species. But it wasn’t until middle school that I was able to strengthen my scientific skills by studying physics, biology, and chemistry separately. It was a fantastic experience to visit my school’s lab. I like being able to explore with real tools and scientific samples. It was then that I discovered I had a strong passion for science.
When the pandemic began, I, like most of my classmates, was frustrated, especially because I couldn’t go to the lab and spend time with my friends in other activities, but the entire digital world was extremely helpful to me. In mid-2021, I had the opportunity to participate in the online program Conectadas from Chicas en tecnología, where, in addition to learning great technological skills and meeting many girls from Latin America, I realized the importance of connecting science and technology to solve global issues like climate change, and, of course, the importance of incorporating more girls into these fields.
A month later, I saw an advertisement for a 24-week quantum computing program from QubitxQubit. I had no idea what it was, but when I questioned my mother about it, she exclaimed, “Quantum computing?!” She told me that it was an awesome technological field, and then we both went online to learn more about it. The only issue was the program’s cost. It was extremely expensive for us, but fortunately, IBM provided the option of applying for scholarships. My parents both encouraged me to apply. I worked carefully to complete all of the necessary forms and hoped that I would be admitted. A few weeks later, I received the news that I had been accepted with a full scholarship from IBM. It was incredible!!
Throughout the weeks of the program, I have learned how quantum computing can revolutionize the world, how it differs from classical computers, how it can be applied in real life, and why we need to participate to reach the full potential of quantum computers. Since this is a relatively new field, there are many things to explore and improve, which is what excites me. Thank you, QubitxQubit and IBM, for providing me with an unforgettable experience.
I founded Girls in Quantum because I want other girls to be able to learn about quantum computing and have the same opportunities and experiences that I had. So girls can have the opportunity to join the field and bridge the gender gap by building a strong community of female role models to inspire, connect, and contribute.
I aspire to become a scientist and undertake research in the quantum field one day. I want to expand this network of girls and, in the long run, have the possibility of partnering with other companies that are interested in our mission, having scholarships for girls to participate in quantum programs, creating research projects where girls can work and collaborate, and bringing experts in the field to tell their stories and share their knowledge with us.
I still need to study a lot about the quantum field and connect with people who can help me with this dream project in order to make an impact in my community and the world. If you wish to join us, please contact us so that we can work together to achieve our short and long-term goals. We’d like to invite you to be a changemaker!
Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey and some of our goals.