MIT-bound academic star from Queens blazes trails for young women in tech

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She proposed a novel method for creating a thermal electric generator, won a Congressional app challenge and started "StuyHacks" at her prestigious high school.

It's clear Sharon Lin’s mind never stops moving, prioritizing project after project.

"I’ve always been really motivated just by the idea of creating things and making things,” Lin said.

The creative 18-year-old  woman from Corona, Queens is about to start her first year at MIT.

“I knew MIT had the No. 1 computer-science department in the country if not the world,” she said. “I just knew it was somewhere that I had to go.”

She has already brainstormed, developed and accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime, having developed about 10 apps.

While none are currently available to buy, their code and concepts —  like understanding the voting process and identifying clean water — have captivated.

She was a regional finalist and top 30 in the world for the 2015 Google Science Fair Award. She also won — twice in a row — the Consumer Electronics magazine "10 Under 20" award.

But it wasn't always easy growing up fascinated  by her studies.

"I wouldn’t say I was physically harassed — a few times I was by bullies — but for the most part people ...  if they didn’t accept who I was they tried to stay away from me,” Lin said.

That changed when Sharon was accepted into the specialized Stuyvesant High School, where she found people with shared passions. There she had a 95 average, which would have likely been higher had she not focused on some many extra projects.

At Stuy, she also launched StuyHacks,  a student- run hackathon designed to foster tech innovation.

She’s also been awarded Crain’s "20 Under 20" award, helped educate younger kids and advocated for women in tech, a subject that’s recently made headlines.

" I think it’s something that shows the ongoing battle that women have been fighting for years — there’s so much more we can do,” Lin said.

Sharon’s just about to start her classes at MIT and she’s already focused.

Every decision she makes will be to make the world a better place, especially for kids suffering in third-world countries.

"My ultimate dream would be to develop a philanthropic organization that can help all these children in the world and save all their lives," she said.

"And also maybe world peace would be really nice.”