LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A student who is getting her masters degree in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley took on a side project during the pandemic lockdown to benefit young women in her native Uganda.
A full scholarship launched Gloria Tumushabe’s engineering and computer science studies at UC Berkeley.READ MORE: Tens Of Thousands Help In Massive Beach Cleanup Effort Saturday
“I felt like I won the lottery when I got the letter that said I got into Berkeley and that I got a scholarship,” she tells CBS News national consumer investigative correspondent Anna Werner. “I don’t think I slept.”
But opportunities in her native Uganda remain limited, Tumushabe says, especially for women.
“In a lot of homes, it’s still very traditional. The woman does more of the housework and the cleaning and all that” she explains.
And many Ugandan women who do attend school say the pandemic hurt their studies.
“I basically do housework,” says Martha Atwine. “That’s all I could do in the pandemic.”
But from a world away, Tumushabe decided to help.
College student from Uganda brings her computer science education home https://t.co/UqYZwspfCR
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“I thought maybe this is my moment to actually start teaching and really empower these people to learn computer science,” she says.
Tumushabe spread the word back home that she’d teach girls like how to write computer code.
“Gloria told me to reach out to other girls that were interested. Very many of my friends were interested, but they didn’t have laptops,” Atwine says.
Atwine was able to get a hand-me-down laptop, but spotty Wi-Fi kept some girls away. Tumushabe was able to help with that, too.
“I’m so lucky. I have a scholarship that gives me a stipend. So part of my stipend goes towards the girls’ internet,” Tumushabe says.
“I’ve been able to create some games and then I’ve also been able to learn how to make websites,” Atwine says.
Those Tumushabe helped in this pandemic year will be applying to U.S. colleges. But she still has her own studying to do before she heads home to Africa.MORE NEWS: LA County Reports First Death From West Nile Virus This Season
“Sometimes it feels like a lot, but I get the satisfaction from watching how much my students have grown,” she says. “And then I get these phone calls like ‘Hey, Gloria, I’m calling you to say thank you.'”