Pauline Lake-Almeida, Trinity College

Featured Scholar

Winter 2011

Pauline Lake-Almeida, Trinity Posse 1 (Chicago), was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, and later moved to Chicago where she attended Harlan High School and graduated valedictorian of her class.

Now a sophomore at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Pauline has already declared a double major in computer science and educational studies. She plans to become a high school computer technology teacher, a goal she credits in part to her experience with Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS)—a community and resource-building project started by computing faculty at several colleges—where she had the opportunity to work last summer.

When HFOSS tasked Pauline and fellow Trinity student Nina Limardo with learning a new programming tool called App Inventor, the two designed a new cell phone application called Work it Off!, which they entered in the Apps for Healthy Kids competition, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity. The application, which they developed in just 10 days, won them a first-place $10,000 prize and a trip to Washington, D.C. to receive their award.

“I think that Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign is extremely important and that this app clearly supports the motives behind the campaign,” Pauline says. “I think this app can really reach out to this generation of kids that relies on and is motivated by technology.”

Work it Off! teaches kids about caloric intake by allowing the user to simply say the name of a food and have the application display the number of calories in that food and what types of activities can be done to work off the calories. Plans are currently underway to further develop the application and make it available to the public.

Meanwhile Pauline is already getting a head start on her future teaching career, currently instructing an after-school program that she helped to develop for high school students.

“While teaching this very bright group of students, I’m also learning a lot,” she says. “It’s very rewarding.”