Meet Aditi Patil, a young professional in the STEM field. She is determined not only to pursue my own interests in computer science, but to inspire and encourage other young women and minority women to do the same. Aditi is the founder of XX Coders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and educating female and minority interest in computer science and narrowing the racial and gender gap of participation in this field. For far too long, women and minority groups have been underserved by the STEM community, leading to shocking underrepresentation both in academia and in the industry. Even when they do dedicate their lives to this field, they often face stigma and discrimination from others. As someone who never expected to go into computer science herself because she was told it was “nerdy” or “for boys,” she believes it is important to do her part in making a change and fighting inequality in the field. Aditi created XX Coders with a goal that is twofold. By inspiring young women to get involved in this booming industry, and support and educate minorities, Aditi can help them find a new perspective on their careers and their futures. And in doing so, she can help close the gender and racial gap in computer science. Determined to provide a safe and encouraging space for women in STEM so that they can reach their full potential, Aditi has pioneered a computer science philosophy of inclusivity and diversity. The more women and minorities get involved in the industry, the more companies become diverse through race, gender, cultures, and backgrounds. The tech industry can only truly move forward and become efficient if there are professionals from all kinds of backgrounds to give their input. As long as Aditi can remember, she has been a research-driven individual herself. However, it wasn’t until high school that she realized this suited her well for computer science. Starting out by taking an Introduction to Java Programming course as a freshman, where she noticed only two other girls had registered for AP computer class, Aditi then enrolled in a summer coding boot camp at the Flatiron Academy in New York City. She wanted to take these experiences and use them to help her found XX Coders. Ever since then, she have worked to help women and minority women find their own unique places in the STEM field. Through XX Coders, Aditi is also interested in bringing computer science education to other underrepresented groups of people such as socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with special needs. With the cooperation of the local school district’s Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA), the XX Coders team work one-on-one in conjunction with young children who are on the autism spectrum. Aditi also interned at My Space My Place Blind Coding Camp, where she was humbled to learn about the ways coding can help those with physical disabilities.