Combining Computer Science and Community Service in Puerto Rico

On September 22, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. People were left without roofs, power, water and food. I traveled to Rincón at the end of October, and again at the end of December, and joined an incredible group of volunteers to help in recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Inspired by my fellow volunteers’ dedication and work, I developed an outreach program to help residents of Puerto Rico. The program - Combining Computer Science and Community Service in Puerto Rico - has two primary goals:

  1. To help University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) students by offering a version of Princeton’s COS 126 during UPRM’s summer session.
  2. To participate in community service efforts and activities throughout the island.

By achieving these goals, I wanted to increase Princeton students’ (as well as my own!) awareness of the challenges faced by Puerto Rico and to increase their understanding of Puerto Rico’s history, people and culture.

So far, our teams have been to Puerto Rico for the past three summers. Due to the pandemic, for 2020, we offered our class remotely to UPRM students. Here are the amazing, talented and fantastic Princeton student teams:

Many thanks to all the volunteers (too many to be named!) and the various organizations we have worked with in Puerto Rico, including:

Various Princeton organizations have made this program possible, including:

Finally, here are a couple of news articles from Princeton.