Meet Jerelyn, IT Girl of The Week

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Meet this week’s IT Girl of the Week, Jerelyn Rodriguez🎉🚀👩🏿‍💻

This founder and entrepreneur has not only made history at NASA, but is also making big strides in the technology education industry and has been featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 list! Jerelyn is one of the founding members of the Datanaut program at NASA and is also a co-founder of The Knowledge House. Help us celebrate our historic #IGOW by reading more facts about her below!

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and why?

I would love to have lunch with Ava Duvernay. I am so inspired by what she has accomplished despite being a filmmaker of color who is female. Along with serving my community via social entrepreneurship, I think it's so important for us to tell their story. When They See Us was a movie that changed my life and motivated me to do more to achieve social justice. But not only is Ava telling the stories of our communities, she is also hiring people of color to work with her on set. I'd love to thank her for her work and keep learning from her


Have you ever felt like you couldn't accomplish something, but surprised yourself? If so, please share.

Not really. I truly believe that if I put my mind towards achieving anything, I can do it. My biggest challenge is fitting everything I want to accomplish into my busy schedule. I do get a feeling of gratification anytime I get closer to achieving work/life balance.

What's your favorite podcast or blog?

I need to follow more podcasts and blogs. I was honored to be featured as Entrepreneur of the Week on Rebecca Jarvis' #NoLimitsPodcast.


What's the most embarrassing moment you've experienced in a professional setting?

One day I was working from home and my dad was helping me with some handy work in the kitchen. While I was in the middle of a morning check-in call with a colleague, he stopped by my home office and asked me if I had taken a shower yet. My colleague found it hilarious as I yelled back, "Oh my God, Dad!!"


How can people find you? Are you on social media?

Yep! I'm @Jerelyn_R on Twitter and Instagram and you can find out more about The Knowledge House by visting our website



What's next? Where do you see yourself two or three years from now?

Right now, we are working on The Knowledge House's 5 year plan, which includes launching our own online learning platform and expanding our programs nationally.

Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, what did you do to overcome it?

When I first started The Knowledge House, I tried my best to avoid experiencing imposter syndrome, but it got hard when I would get rejected over and over after pitching my organization. My elevator pitch was still rough, and I remember one potential funder telling me that I should bring another nonprofit leader, who was older and more experienced, to pitch along with me. It was discouraging, but luckily I had started developing a peer group of other nonprofit leaders who believed in me. They advocated for me and told these same funders why they should invest in The Knowledge House. With time, my pitch improved, my confidence grew, and I started securing funding from folks that rejected me the first time.

What role do women play in Corporate America today, given the current environment of #Metoo, #Timesup and other women centrist movements?

Given the current environment of the #MeToo movement, I think our role today is to not be silent and become corporate leadership that can change the status quo. Women are feeling more empowered to stand up for themselves and each other. I see women holding employers accountable for providing safe spaces to their employees. I also see women calling out their male colleagues for inappropriate behaviors and teaching them how to advocate for these safe spaces. Finally, I see more women entrepreneurs. I believe the more female employers we have, the less gender inequality we will have in the workplace.

What motivates you?

Getting results motivates me. When I secure funding, I'm more motivated. When alumni from The Knowledge House secure tech jobs, I am motivated to work harder. And when those alumni come back to The Knowledge House to say thank you, it motivates me to keep going despite any challenges.

Name one thing you do constantly that has contributed to your success.

I always seek to partner with other organizations. It helps me understand any gaps in our local ecosystems and allows me to better serve my community beyond The Knowledge House. I've been recognized as a community leader for my collaboration with others.


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