- Mouse Alum, Baccalaureate School for Global Education (BSGE)
- Digital Portfolio: Garblog, Extend-an-Arm, SMART Chair
- University of Wisconsin, BS., Computer Science and Entrepreneurship, 2017
- Software Engineer, Bloomberg
What experiences did you have with Mouse during middle and high school?
Ivan has had a passion for technology since elementary school. It was this passion that led his family to select the Baccalaureate School for Global Education (BSGE), a school they knew was running the Mouse program.
On Ivan’s first day of school in 7th grade, he joined Mouse and quickly became seen as a leader among his peers. He devoted many hours to solving the school’s tech issues, “I was so passionate about what I was doing, repairing computers and imaging machines,” said Ivan. “I never stopped asking for more to do.”
When Ivan was in 9th grade, there were only a few students still involved with Mouse. To ensure that the Mouse program remained strong at BSGE, Ivan sent letters to all the teachers at his school and advocated to his Principal about the importance of Mouse, “Mouse was worth fighting for because Mouse has the potential to influence and inspire.”
How did you get involved in the process of design?
In 10th grade, Ivan joined the Mouse Design League, which gave him the opportunity to design technology projects to help others and to have experiences in the professional world. During his sophomore to senior years, he designed Garblog, a mobile app that uses a game to encourage subway riders to document and submit the location of unsanitary conditions to the MTA, SMART Chair, a wheel chair designed for the blind and visually impaired that uses circuit boards and sensors to detect distance, and Extend-an-Arm, to assist people with disabilities to pick up items out of their reach
“The SMART Chair was my first experience building something,” said Ivan. “It was an awakening experience for me in engineering, design, and building that shaped my passion for electrical design and mechanical engineering.”
How did your experiences with Mouse impact your college years?
Ivan was awarded a scholarship from the POSSE Foundation to attend the University of Wisconsin. His experiences with Mouse were a big part of his POSSE interviews. He even brought in lanyards from events that he had presented for Mouse, and the circuit board from the SMART Chair to one of his interviews, highlighting his leadership and extracurricular activities.
“Mouse’s investment in my achievement through projects and internships eventually brought forth my greatest accomplishments: a full-tuition college scholarship and the Bloomberg Technology Scholarship.”
Ivan graduated in 2017 with a degree in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. “Much of my work during college involved programming and good design, all of which I experienced while at Mouse. Truly, Mouse marked the beginning of my professional career.”
“Design with purpose is a responsibility. Mouse helped me to shape my ideas and gave me the opportunity to take action. Mouse was the missing connection to link the opportunities that I wanted and the purpose I wanted to achieve.”
Why is the focus on “purpose” so important?
Ivan credits his focus on purpose from these early design experiences at Mouse.
“Everyday, it’s the job of an engineer to focus on the bigger picture. Design with purpose is a responsibility. Mouse helped me to shape my ideas and gave me the opportunity to take action. Mouse was the missing connection to link the opportunities that I wanted and the purpose I wanted to achieve.”
How have your experiences with Mouse impacted your life?
Ivan is a Software Engineer at Bloomberg, working on the Bloomberg Terminal, the core product that Bloomberg provides to its clients for real-time information for financial data and analysis.
Ivan continues to stay very connected as an alumnus of Mouse. He was recognized as a “Maker of Change” at the Mouse 20th Anniversary Celebration and a Youth Honoree at our Diversity in Tech (DIV) Awards in 2018.
In his acceptance speech at the DIV Awards , Ivan stated, “Mouse always kept me focused on my aspirations and attaining opportunities that many of my peers yearned for. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for Mouse -- my communication skills, confidence in the professional world, and the connections I have made all strengthened. Mouse opened so many doors for me.”