Snapping up an opportunity

Cindy Liu, Asst. News Editor

A few weeks after submitting her entry for the #MyFutureMe competition hosted by Google and Snapchat, Diamond Bar High School junior Aishwarya Rane received a phone call.

She was chosen as one of the five finalists from the 22,000 teens across the nation who entered the competition.

“I didn’t expect to win at all,” Rane said. “I thought it was some telemarketer so I didn’t answer it. I told my mom to answer first, and she told me—and her face was really surprised.”

In the first stage of the competition, participants were asked to design a geofilter and submit a short statement about their vision for the future.

Using drag-and-drop code, an application that allows users to select and arrange premade blocks of code, Rane spent around an hour creating the filter and writing her statement.

In her design, she used an image of a girl’s silhouette with flowers and the words “This is just the beginning.”

A geofilter designed by Aishwarya Rane, one of the finalists for the #MyFutureMe competition.

“My vision for the future is to have greater gender, racial and social equality and increase representation for minorities,” Rane wrote in her submitted statement. “I hope to…voice my opinions for those who may not be able to.”

In her statement, Rane also described how her involvement in the clubs Girl Up and Society of Women Engineers at DBHS led her on a mission to empower girls in STEM.

“When I applied to the competition, I read the guidelines and it said [the winners] got to go to the TEDWomen conference, so I was like ‘that’s cool, I should plan to go there in the future,’ but then I actually got to go,” Rane said.  

Prizes for the five competition finalists included complimentary tickets to the TEDWomen conference—valued at $5,000—at New Orleans on Nov. 1-3, round trip airfare to the event, paid hotel room expenses and a bonus of $1,000 in spending money.

“I watch a lot of TEDx videos… in my free time, so it was really cool to go to like an actual TED conference in person and be a part of it,” Rane said. “A lot of the speakers were really moving in real life.”

As part of the competition’s second stage, Rane and the other finalists had mentoring sessions with three Google engineers and worked with the Snap Design team to create their own Snapchat Lens. Their Snapchat filters will then be judged to determine the Grand Prize Winner.

Rane spent about three hours creating her final design to submit for the Grand Prize judging, basing her creation off her initial submitted vision for the future. Her designed filter is a manipulatable Snapchat Lens where the user utilizes their rear view camera to activate a filter with a laboratory table and beakers with the words “future is STEM” and “empowerment.”

Rane had some experience with graphic design since she practices in her free time, designs flyers for clubs and has two parents working in computer science.

“It gave me an opportunity to learn about professional networking,” Rane said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”