University: Harvard University
Major: Computer Science and Psychology
Languages: Arabic, French & Spanish
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Biography: My name is Ibtihal Aboussad and I am a Computer Science and Psychology student at Harvard University. I was raised in Morocco where I graduated from the Moulay Youssef High School in 2017 with a degree in Mathematics, before being awarded a full scholarship to attend Harvard.
In 2016, I received a US State Department grant to attend TechGirls – a selective program for MENA region girls with an interest in technology. Since then, I have been heavily involved with fostering digital literacy among underserved populations and encouraging the use of tech for social good. I first co-founded the IT Weekends boot camp that teaches technology basics to low-income elementary-school girls in Morocco. I also served as a mentor in the Technovation Challenge, an international contest where young girls solve community issues through mobile applications, and where I had previously won the national 2nd prize. I recently became the Project Manager of E-nitiate, a fully-funded camp where Moroccan students are introduced to coding and build socially-impactful projects using their newly-acquired skills. Last but not least, I’m on the team of eSTEM Morocco, an NGO that has been organizing events and programs to involve more Moroccan girls in STEM since 2014. My passion for democratizing access to a Computer Science education is thus matched by a desire to empower more young social entrepreneurs, which also led me to join the executive team of 2 Harvard Social Innovation Collaborative initiatives in order to unleash the change maker within students from all over the world.
In the future, I plan to continue using my Computer Science skills for the greater good through starting initiatives in the tech-focused Social Entrepreneurship field, and through continuing to teach the languages of the future to disadvantaged students. Specifically, as someone who witnessed its flaws upon attending a public high school, I want to get involved with improving the Moroccan educational system through founding groundbreaking Ed Tech projects. I also strive to become a high-ranking executive within one of the world’s leading tech firms to reach and impact more emerging markets in Africa and beyond.