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Teens on the Scene: High School Coder Hania Guiagoussou Wins Oracle Duke’s Choice Award

Clean Teen Reads

Teens on the SceneThe World of Computer Science

Is computer science a world for only adults?

Is it a world for only guys?

Hania Guiagoussou says a big “NO.”  Hania steps forth into this realm and delights to serve as a role model for other girls to do the same!

Hania was born in Montreal, Quebec, and her parents are natives of Chad, Africa. She now resides in Dublin, CA, a town located just east of San Francisco.

Oracles’ Duke’s Choice Award

Hania, who speaks three languages, is a Java coder who was recently the youngest recipient of Oracle’s 2015 Duke’s Choice Award for her WaterSaver Project.

First of all, what is the Duke’s Choice Award? This award is dedicated to all members of the Java community! The award celebrates innovations that use Java technology. The primary judging criterion for this prestigious award is innovation—putting individual developers (like Hania) on equal footing with global giants. Her award was a cool $10,000.

Why Coding?

So what is computer coding and why did Hania choose this outlet?

“…I view knowing how to code as super powers you can use to help others and change the world. I see coding as a way you can express your creativity and your artistic skills. I see coding as another outlet to express yourself.

“Coding is all about creativity, it’s all about problem-solving, it’s all about going on and not giving up. At first people may think coding is hard, I felt that way too at first, but I tell people that coding is fun and you can use code for what interests you.”

Help People Every Day

When searching for an idea for her science fair project, her father recommended that she look for a problem with a social impact, something big that would help people every day

Hania says:Teens on the Scene

“…then it hit me: every single day I walk home from school I see lawn sprinklers going off even when it’s raining, and we’re in a drought. That was where the idea started and from there I brainstormed ideas with my dad and created an outline for the project.”

Check out this candid interview with Hania. 

Choosing Dublin, CA

It’s was actually Hania’s idea for her family to live in Dublin. She researched and found the community and then begged them to move there.

“I really like Dublin, it’s very peaceful, quiet and safe. I love Dublin High School, everyone is really nice and the kids are really hard-working so I have someone to look up to.”

Click this link to read Hania’s story in her own words. 

Teens in the Spotlight!

I enjoy hanging out with teens and I never fail to be super impressed with their creativity, their abilities, their energy, and their dogged determination. That’s why I love to spotlight teens in my Teens on the Scene blogs.

Do you know a teen who needs to be in the spotlight? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Clean Teen Reads

Clean Teen Reads

My newest release, Brought To You By The Color Drab, is a story of a teen who had many obstacles to overcome. But comes out a winner! You can read the first two chapters right here. Just click below.

Download Chapters 1 & 2 of Color Drab FREE


Clean Teen Reads

Clean Teen Reads

Clean Teen Reads



Research for “Brought To You By The Color Drab”: Blind but Victorious

Clean Teen ReadsIn my latest teen novel, Brought To You By The Color Drab the main character, Race, gets a job as a driver for a blind piano tuner. (Actually, it was either take the job or land in juvie. So he took the job. But more about that in the book.)

A Terrifying Condition

Blindness can be a terrifying condition. The level of fear can be almost overwhelming. But I happen to know a blind person who overcame the fear and pushed through to amazing victory in his life.

Jim Stovall

I knew Jim Stovall in the early days, shortly after he’d totally lost his sight. (Up to that point he could still see forms and shadows–then all went black.) During this time in the 1980s, he was still incubating the idea for the Narrative Television Network. On a daily basis, he was calling major companies in an attempt to find sponsors. Even back then, Jim was doggedly determined.

Now many years later, Jim is an author, motivational speaker, movie producer, as well as remaining president of the NTN company. In 2010, Stovall received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Council of the Blind for his work with the Narrative Television Network.

The Ultimate Gift

You can watch Jim in this video telling his story. This interview was a few years ago–there have been so many accomplishments since. Perhaps you’ve heard of the movie The Ultimate Gift. If so, then your life has been touched by Jim Stovall

In Brought To You By The Color Drab, Stan Crosslin, did not allow his loss of sight to define his life. Like Jim Stovall, Stan pressed through and became a positive influence in the life of my main character, Race Paloma.

Enjoy the video…

Clean Teen Reads

Download Chapters 1 & 2 of Color Drab FREE.


Clean Teen Reads

Clean Teen Reads

Clean Teen Reads