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My name is James Zamora and I am a 3rd year student at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Cognitive Science with a minor in Computer Science. I truly think that my genuine passion for design was catalyzed by a network of unplanned circumstances that some way or another connected and molded me into the individual I am today. As a student at the University of California, Berkeley that my passion did was not leading, but building. Prior to taking that class, I was involved with the University as the Legislative Director for the Office of the President for the Berkeley student body and an intern for two Philipinx organizations that focused on supporting underrepresented communities.  

That same year I took my first computer science course. Thinking that I would be able to broaden my more technical familiarity, I decided on applying to a club called Berkeley Innovation. After the recruitment process, it wasn’t until after I was admitted that I realized I joined a design club. Unfamiliar with this field I never would have imagined that design encompassed much more than color pallets and graphic designs, but creating, building, and re-imagining the world through a whole new spectrum.

Growing up in a low income- first generation family was an obstacle that limited me from truly exploring the vast opportunities that technology had to offer. Our family had never owned the newest, most cutting edge computer. However, soon after being introduced to computer science, I found myself consulting for fortune 500 tech companies and redesigning user interfaces for virtual reality wearable devices, designing devices that used triangular navigation, creating video games, and ultimately viewing the world through a more technical lens. Paired with the social skills I had learned through leadership; I am now working for my University’s Student Affairs Information Technology department as a residential computer consultant for University residents where I was nominated and chosen to receive the Silicon Valley Chief Information Scholarship Award. I also worked as a research fellow for the Pineda Foundation, focusing on Disabled People Policies and the emerging development of SMART Cities throughout the world. Since my initial introduction to the field of technology and design, I co-founded a University-sponsored organization called the Berkeley Invention Corps which brings together 25 students from diverse disciplines to create technology that tackles issues with health, society, poverty and the environment.

To continue my goals of developing a multidisciplinary scope of the world, I will be continuing to pursue technology and innovative thinking at Blackrock through an internship this summer.