After earning two masters degrees, and with the ability to speak three languages, Roxana Rugina found herself working a part time desk job, when what she really wanted to do was code.
Now a CEO and cofounder of Simplon Romania, Roxana grew up in a small city in Romania. She always had a passion for computers and video games from a young age, and during her schooling had been a part of many groups honing skills in computing as well as math, physics, and chemistry.
As with many students right after school, when it came time to find a job, Roxana found the search discouraging. With all of her skills and passions, she struggled to find the right outlet to achieve the kind of impact she knew she was capable of making.
Building upon her love for computing, Roxana started taking a few online coding courses. During this search for resources, she came across the Simplon program in Paris.
Simplon and Microsoft YouthSpark
The nonprofit Simplon is funded by Microsoft YouthSpark, the company’s global initiative to help young people build a better future through opportunities in education, entrepreneurship, and employment. Simplon is designed to help underrepresented youth who might not otherwise have access to such tools and resources. Roxana loved the program in Paris, and decided to share what she had learned with the next generation in her home country of Romania.
Taking it back to Romania & beyond
“I feel like I really need to pay it forward and do this for other people, show them what I’ve learned so they can do it too,” Roxana says. “Courage is contagious; I want to pass it on to others.”
“Our goal is to teach programming to everyone, and Roxana is helping make that happen,” says Frederic Bardeau, co-founder of Simplon. “With the help of YouthSpark, our first camp trained 50 people from 15 countries. We have a fabulous opportunity to continue to teach underrepresented youth these important skills.”
“I love my job, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Roxana says. “I have lots of energy, don’t know if I will have it forever, so I want to use it now to help people. I have the same agenda as Microsoft, to empower people to do the right thing.”