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#IAmNYAS: Fredda Weinberg

Learn how Junior Academy alumna, Fredda Weinberg, has used her career as a programmer to inspire the next generation of computer scientists.

Published October 07, 2015

#IAmNYAS: Fredda Weinberg

Fredda Weinberg is a STEM professional who understands the value of mentorship. A graduate of the original Junior Academy program, Fredda returned to the Academy as a Member while pursuing her Master's in Information Systems. A Programmer for Reliable Health Systems, Fredda is passionate about "connecting the needy to sources of security, justice and sustenance." She has a history of "paying it forward" to the next generation of computer scientists as well as working towards breaking down traditional barriers that might otherwise keep girls and women out of STEM fields.

For this #IAmNYAS profile, Fredda talks about the importance of mentorship, both in her own pursuit of a career in STEM and in working to inspire the next generation of computer scientists.

How did you get hooked on a STEM career?

The ability to reproduce results was enough to convert me from superstitious to scientific.

Why did you become a Member of the New York Academy of Sciences?

I joined as soon as I received my Master's in Information Systems. As a graduate of the Junior Academy, I still dream of possibilities.

Was there someone who helped encourage you to pursue a career in STEM?

My chemistry teacher at Sheepshead Bay High School [in Brooklyn, NY], in 1977, showed me my first programming language and suggested that one day, it could be a career.

What has been one of the most rewarding moments of your career?

There's nothing like having your work profiled on the local evening news. [Read the news report about the program that Fredda started in the 1990s to provide an "oasis of learning" for the next generation of computer users]. A little technology, leveraged properly, changed countless lives for kids who previously did not imagine they had a future.

What is one of the biggest challenges you're facing right now?

I face the same challenge as I did as a chemistry major in the 70's and 80's: breaking through traditional barriers erected to maintain all-male domains. Working with my people, the Orthodox community, is, as Spock would put it, the most logical way to disseminate the liberal arts education I treasure.

Interested in inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals? Check out the Academy's mentoring opportunities here.