Daisy Ocegueda

Graphic by Noah Herridge

Charlotte Wolff, Staff Writer

The year is 2013. A curious 7th grader with a class to fill pokes her head into a seemingly boring computer lab. Though this class didn’t quite catch her eye at first, she was entering an entire world of opportunity, one that she would come to cherish and embrace as her passion.

Ocegueda was first interested in the field of computer technology when she was just thirteen years old. Looking for an easy class to fill the gap in her schedule, she randomly picked computer technology. Computer technology was unexciting for her. At surface level, it seemed just like any other class trip to the computer lab – learning to type and constantly being quieted by teachers. However, it soon became a lot more to her than just a class.

Though Ocegueda only really began her computer technology interest at age 13, computers entered her world at a much earlier time in her life through her father.

“I remember when I was 20 years old, I had this friend that worked in Silicon Valley and when Daisy was born, I took her to see all the computers. So I bought her her first computer. It was a toy computer, but it was almost real, when she was three years old. She learned about it, and within two days she knew everything about computers. So I bought her a real one. Then it broke, and we bought a new one. She became so good at the computer,” Oswaldo Ocegueda, Daisy’s father, said.

“The lesson that really got me into it was when she introduced us to code.org, which is a website where you can learn to code.” Ocegueda said.

Code.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding computer technology throughout the world and empowering women and minorities, by giving them access to coding lessons.

That introduction to the profundity of computer technology was the spark that lit the fire for Ocegueda to become Highland’s 2018-2019 Sterling Scholar for Computer Technology. Since that eye-opening experience, Ocegueda has been exposed to many different fields of computer technology, which is what makes it so hard for her to choose a specific field to explore in college. Ocegueda is currently taking a game development class to further research the depths of programming.

Ocegueda loves computer technology because of the wide variety of branches that are available to study.

“There’s not just one single field that you can go into, there’s programming, there’s working with software, computer engineering, game development. There’s just like, a whole spectrum that you can go into,” Ocegueda said.

Though Ocegueda is passionate about computer technology, she also does activities that most people associate with teenagers- browsing the internet, and listening to rock and roll music. Her favorite artists are Breaking Benjamin, The Beatles, Nathan Sharp, and Linkin Park.

“When free time happens… I tend to look at Youtube videos, surf the web, and play music,” Ocegueda said.

Though most students attribute their love for a subject to an idol or inspiration, Ocegueda insists that her love for computer technology came about purely from her own interest.

“To be honest, I’ve never really looked up to anyone. Most people would say, ‘Bill Gates!’ or, ‘Steve Jobs!’ and I’m like, yeah, those people were cool, but I’ll never say that they were the reason why I got into tech. It was something of my own personal choosing,” Ocegueda said.

Like most other computer “techies”, Ocegueda is also skilled with math, and is keeping it an option for college. Even if she doesn’t choose math as an interest in college, many computer technology programs require math skills such as calculus and linear algebra. It seems as though math will play a big role in her future, and she doesn’t seem to mind, although she is open to new fields of learning and wherever those paths might lead.