For Patricia Wei ‘23, small enterprise Empowered Codes serves as an outlet to mix her love of STEM and jewellery to empower college students. Her curiosity in jewellery started when she adopted the journey of Valeria Sawers Murillo ‘21 creating Moonphase, a small enterprise with handmade wire jewellery.
One among Wei’s main muses was her CS 161 class. Her first design was impressed by drawing a red-black tree a number of instances for the algorithm evaluation class. From there, Wei initially didn’t know how one can go concerning the means of executing her thought.
“I went to the jewellery retailer. I used to be so new that I didn’t even know you wanted totally different thicknesses for the wire. I ended up not shopping for the precise instruments, however I gave it a shot — and that’s form of what began my enterprise,” she mentioned.
Round this time, Wei additionally started to discover the concept of beginning a jewellery enterprise. She met Shani Shay and realized about her mission of serving to incarcerated youth by way of the school readiness course Incarceration to Faculty. As Wei realized concerning the fundraisers Shay organizes to assist incarcerated youth entry know-how, she determined to make use of her enterprise to help this system’s work. Fifty % of Empowered Codes’ income are donated to Incarceration to Faculty.
Wei mentioned the title of her enterprise represents each her love of neighborhood and utilizing data for social justice.
“I’m actually pleased with the title Empowered Codes as a result of it encompasses what jewellery making is for me. It’s not nearly jewellery. If you give earrings to another person, you’re making them really feel assured and expertise neighborhood love,” Wei mentioned. “For me, training and pc science are about feeling empowered to create the life that you just wish to make for your self and studying new expertise within the course of.
Empowered Codes has helped Wei construct neighborhood on campus. After internet hosting her first jewellery workshop with the First-Era and/or Low-Earnings Partnership (FLIP), Wei expressed pleasure in with the ability to share a artistic and welcoming house with college students.
“For most individuals, it’s the primary time they’re capable of contact beads of various colours and mess around with totally different designs,” Wei mentioned. “I really feel prefer it’s very therapeutic to your internal baby. So it means rather a lot to have the ability to share what I really like doing with different individuals and it’s at all times so superior to see what individuals make.”
Since their first workshop, Wei has been capable of lead workshops at neighborhood facilities and dorm on-calls.
Senior April Martinez ‘23 realized a brand new talent and appreciates the enthusiastic encouragement Wei shares by way of her workshops.
“Jewellery making has turn into a enjoyable exercise to do when I’ve the assets,” Martinez mentioned. “Patricia’s at all times giving out useful ideas and exhibits true care when making any piece of knickknack, from her vivid earrings to her stunning bracelets.”
The care and neighborhood of Wei’s workshops have even impressed Javier Omar Luna ‘25 to begin their very own small enterprise.
“Patricia herself is a motion in the way in which she practices love; jewelry-making is a kind of practices. Empowered Codes spreads the love and care that Patricia radiates in her on a regular basis life,” Luna mentioned.
An Empowered Codes workshop received them into jewellery making, and so they ultimately determined to begin their very own enterprise, referred to as Cielo Oro. Luna defined, “For the reason that workshop, like her, I’ve been spreading the love and pleasure of crafting jewellery by educating others and giving jewellery away as presents.”
After gifting a pair of red-black tree earrings to her pc science professor, Cynthia Lee, Wei’s earrings ended up making their technique to the so-called “father of the evaluation of algorithms” himself, Donald Knuth. He reportedly wished to share Wei’s craft with Robert Sedgewick, one of many creators of the red-black tree.
Reflecting on the sudden journey of her red-black tree earrings, Wei inspired college students to pursue their passions and creativity.
“You by no means understand how the seeds that you just plant someday are going to bloom. Belief within the course of and proceed placing your coronary heart into every thing you do.” Though typically the method is difficult, Wei mentioned to maintain going — in any case, “you by no means know the way it’ll end up.”