perrin jones

University: Columbia University
Major: Computer Science and Sound Arts
Languages: French (Limited-Working Proficiency), Australian Sign Language (Elementary)
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Biography: Engineer, Designer, Advocate.

My name is Perrin Jones, and I’m a sophomore studying Computer Science under the engineering school and Sound Arts under the graduate School of the Arts. Combining these fields, I’ve done acoustic based quantum computing research in Australia, robotics design work for Hod Lipson’s Creative Machines Lab, and audio engineering for various professional theatres and Grammy-nominated artists. I hope to continue work in engineering and arts to design and implement a better world for all.

As a low-income first-generation student who has experienced homelessness, non-profit work has become something very dear to me. Using my studies, I work as the project engineer for the US branch of Natangué-Sénégal overseeing special operations to build temporary housing out of recycled materials for the homeless in Senegal. Everyone in the world deserves a shelter.

After years of working and supporting myself, higher education has offered me a stable life and social mobility. I’ve been named an advising fellow for Matriculate, a position through which I help low-income and first-generation students through the college application process. Moved by both these students' struggles and the difficulty of applying to college for the homeless, I’ve founded and run the Homeless College Access Project (HCAP). Through in-shelter seminars and a scholarship fund we hope to bridge the gap between homeless students and a college education. We are based in NYC now, but are working on expanding our program to Boston, London, and Sydney, to help as many students as possible.