Meet Arlana Yessenbayeva, a two-year Technovation alumna from Kazakhstan. Her journey with Technovation began in high school, where she and her team Go WaCo created an app to help their community recycle e-waste. A few months later, Arlana and her team were flown out to San Francisco to present their app idea at World Pitch!
Surrounded by all the other teams, Arlana was exposed to problems prevalent in other parts of the world and how apps could potentially solve them. “We weren’t competitors, we were friends,” Arlana said to describe how she and the other teams instantly connected. Hearing about the other teams and the problems they chose to tackle, Arlana went back home feeling inspired to encourage the girls in her hometown to embark on the same journey and pursue STEM. She immediately began introducing her sisters to Technovation and teaching them how to code and apply business skills to their projects. Soon, Arlana became a leader to more than just her sisters and motivated other girls in her community to sign up for Technovation. By becoming a role model, she was able to show the girls around her that with hard work and determination, she was able to achieve success and actually solve complex problems, and that they could do the same.
Arlana is currently studying business economics and finance at university. Her experience with Technovation not only provided her with many skills but also gave her the opportunity to apply those skills to a professional project, and even inspired her to major in business. However, her involvement with Technovation is not over yet –; Arlana continues to inspire alumni to follow their passions. “Technovation is not the final destination, it is a step along the way. It doesn’t matter if you are a student or if you have a master’s degree: with enough inspiration and hard work you can achieve anything you want.“