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Posted on Dec 26, 2018

Quincy students hit D.C. for technology conference

A student from Quincy High School participated in a Washington, D.C., panel to discuss the future of high-speed internet availability in rural areas.
Quincy student Nora Medina, who has helped lead the 4-H Tech Changemakers group in initiatives like technology classes for adults, participated in a panel with Microsoft executives and other students from across the country in early December in our nation’s capital.
The panel, which included Microsoft Philanthropies’ Corporate Vice President Mary Snapp, discussed the importance of high-speed internet and digital skills literacy in rural communities.
Medina got a chance to meet Microsoft President Brad Smith and other student leaders such as McKenzie Hurley, an FFA representative from Virginia, and Boaz Whealy, a 4-H Tech Changemakers representative from Georgia.
“It was an amazing experience,” Medina said, “an amazing opportunity.”

Quincy student Nora Medina participated on a panel on technology access in rural areas with some impressive company: Standing, from left to right, are: Microsoft President Brad Smith; Virginia FFA representative McKenzie Hurley; Medina; Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Philanthropies Mary Snapp and Boaz Whealy, a 4-H representative from Georgia.
Photo submitted by Jeannie Kiehn

The panel members compared notes on how they are doing bringing technology literacy to people in rural areas. The experiences turned out to be quite similar in the communities from which the other two students came.
“The group from Georgia, they are teaching adults computer skills as well,” Medina said.
The panel and the discussion will help bring more awareness to the need for communities to teach their residents to be tech-savvy, she added.
The panel had a more professional feel than past discussions Medina had participated in, she said. The size of the audience and the caliber of the adults in the room made Medina a bit nervous at first.
Medina and fellow QHS junior Daisy Buenrostro practiced for days prior to the panel, and that helped plenty. Medina credited Buenrostro for helping her do well at the panel.
“She’s an amazing friend of mine, and we just bounced ideas back and forth to get our message across,” she said.
Jeannie Kiehn, WSU Grant-Adams 4-H program coordinator, served as chaperone for the trip.
“Microsoft wanted youth there,” Kiehn said of the panel. “Daisy Buenrostro went to show youth involvement and to support Nora.”
It was Medina’s second time in Washington, D.C., in less than a year, having traveled for a 4-H activity in the summer.
4-H Tech Changemakers was started as a partnership between Microsoft and 4-H to help young people in rural communities “gain digital skills, learn how to use digital technologies safely and securely, and identify challenges in their local communities and determine how technology can play a role in creating solutions,” according to a press release.

By Sebastian Moraga,