Team Albania 2018

We are Team Albania. We were established last year and successfully represented Albania in the FIRST Global Challenge. We are a group of hardworking STEM enthusiasts, that range from 14-18 years old and come from a variety of schools across Albania. Meet this year’s team:

Julianna Schneider: Programmer, Driver, and Community Outreach
I’m Julianna Schneider and I’m 14 years old. My greatest strengths are my perseverance and my ability to think outside the box. At school, I’m in an advanced mathematics class and I won the “Most Outstanding Middle School Literature Student” award. Out of school, I am a 1st prize winning professional pianist of 8 consecutive years, a competitive gold-medalist swimmer, and recently, a passionate coder. Creativity is what connects all of my passions, regardless of the discipline. I’ve always wanted a way to bring my creative ideas to life and I’m happy to have found, in coding, the perfect medium for that. Learning to code has opened up amazing and incredibly fun opportunities for me. In the last four months, I’ve worked as the main programmer for my Technovation Challenge team and my high school robotics team. Despite being a middle schooler, I traveled with my high school robotics team to Bucharest, Romania where we successfully competed in a FIRST Tech Challenge. This experience sparked my interest in robotics. I find robotics the most engaging and hands-on way to see my code come to life and I love collaborating with other STEM enthusiasts to reach a common goal. I aspire to work in the field of STEM, specifically IT, and I’m beyond excited to help represent Albania in FIRST Global. 

Kristi Leka: Programmer and Driver
I am Kristi, and I am about to turn 18 soon. I am a student for Informatic in a multifunctional school here in Albania in the Networking Profile. I have been working for more than one year as a part time android developer at an Albanian Company. I love the logic behind coding, the way everything interacts behind what we see, the way computers think. To me it makes perfect sense and I love working in my “own language” so to speak. Programming is a way for me to help others and to challenge myself. I usually spend a lot of my free time on Machine Learning AI too because the way computers think and learn is impressive. When you see your work thinking, moving, talking with you, it’s just indescribable. I usually spend my other free time on activities like swimming, volleyball, and going out with friends. My favorite subject is math and my idol is Steve Jobs. The way he used to speak and the way he used to solve problems was in the most ingenious way; I wish one day to be more like him. This is my second time competing in FIRST Global Challenge and it’s a great opportunity for me to be here. FIRST Global has inspired me more and more in my career and made me enjoy robotics the most. I am glad I am part of this competition and it is one of the best decisions of my life. 

Dea Rrozhani: Programmer, Builder, and Driver
My name is Dea Rrozhani and I am 15 years old. I started working with robots a short while ago. I love how robotics is challenging in every aspect, and how it combines a lot of things I love such as programming, engineering, and design. From the moment I built my first robot, I set my mind that this was going to be my path in the future. I aspire to work at NASA and be an ambassador for gender equality in STEM like my idols, the women in the movie “Hidden Figures”.  I believe that robotics can be the solution to the problems our world is facing. Besides robotics, I also love playing the piano, dancing, reading literature and encyclopedias. I spend every Saturday volunteering to teach girls my age the basics concepts of robotics. It is a challenge, but I take a lot of pleasure out of it. I have taken part in other technology competitions, by which I believe I have developed a lot of skills, such as teamwork, work under pressure, public speaking in both English and Albanian, practicality in programming, commitment etc. Robotics is the future, and with effort and passion anyone can make a change!  

Gianmarco Cornacchia: Programmer and Mechanic
My name is Gianmarco, I am 16 years old and I really like programming and robotics. The reason why I enjoy it so much is how quickly you can reach huge progress that allows you to become able to create something special, which works as you wanted it to work; I think that’s one of the most satisfying moments everyone can have in his/her life, and I feel very lucky for being among the ones who already proved that feeling. Besides robotics, in my spare time I really enjoy sports, and my favourite one is cycling. I like it very much and along with robotics, they are my great two passions. In my future I really hope I will be able to pursue a career in the robotics and computer science field, and to continue cycling, doing it as an hobby.

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