Bharwani: This 14-Year-Old Just Published Her First Alexa Skill. She Used to Think She Wasn’t Good Enough. Now She Knows She Is Exceptional

BySabina Bharwani
Credit: Hello World - Sabina Bharwani

Suguey Carmona, a ninth-grade Latina student at KIPP Brave High School in Austin, Texas, published her first Alexa Skill in the Amazon Appstore this year. This was a notable achievement, but if you don’t know what it means, you are not alone.

Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon that responds to users’ questions. If you want to ask Alexa to do specific things, such as power up your Xbox or order a pizza, your Alexa has to have that skill. Suguey identified a skill that had not yet been created, so she decided to program it herself. She created an Alexa Skill that allows English- and Spanish-speaking immigrants to get answers to questions related to their rights. For example, users may ask Alexa, “Am I allowed to get my driver’s license?” or “How long does it take to get a visa?”

The idea sprang from Suguey’s personal experience. When she saw her own parents struggle to find answers about their rights, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

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Photo Credit: Hello World – Sabina Bharwani