Introducing the BetaNYC Civic Innovation Fellows Class of 2023!

BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Fellowship is a unique opportunity for CUNY Service Corps fellows to learn about NYC government and local communities through a lens of data and technology. The goal of the program is to expose NYC students to careers in public interest technology and data analytics through applied experience addressing community technology and data needs.

In their first semester, students participate in a bootcamp training that develops their foundational understanding of public interest technology including open data, mapping and data visualization, urban analytics, and NYC civics. In their second semester, fellows apply their skills on real-world projects with local stakeholders, defining and mapping equity in the public realm using Open Street Map.

The Class of 2022-2023 is our ninth unique cohort! We are thrilled to welcome six students from Queens College and City Tech. They are pursuing degrees in computer science, computer systems, and environmental studies and come to us with diverse lived experiences and cultural backgrounds. We can’t wait to learn from them and watch them grow into the next generation of civic leaders. Please meet BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Fellows below!

The Civic Innovation Fellowship program is made possible by BetaNYC’s partnership with the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, CUNY Service Corps, and the Fund for the City of New York; and through funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund and NYC City Council.


Civic Innovation Fellows – Cohort 9

Ahnaf Shamim

Hey! My name is Ahnaf, I’m currently a sophomore at Queens College majoring in Computer Science. I am really excited to immerse myself in being part of the Civic Innovation Fellowship not only because of its professional environment and progressive goal to spread Open Data but also because of the opportunity it’s given me to grow professionally. I hope to grow my technical skills by learning new tools, such as OpenStreetMap. I enjoy playing volleyball, watching anime, or exploring NYC and its different foods in my free time.

Kyla Browne

Hello! My name is Kyla Browne and I am a junior at Macaulay Honors College at Queens College majoring in Environmental Studies. I am from Long Island, New York. 

I am excited to work alongside the BetaNYC staff and fellow members of the 2022-2023 cohort to explore the versatility of data as a tool that can promote the betterment of NYC. As a visual learner, I am eager to learn about the vast world of civic technology and become proficient in various data visualization platforms. I also look forward to gaining a comprehensive understanding of the structure of NYC government and decision-making in public policy. It is rewarding that the work we will be doing in collaboration with partners will empower community members with concrete, publicly accessible information and allow them to mobilize improvement of their areas at the local level. 

I hope to apply the technological skills I learn during the Civic Innovation Fellowship to explore environmental and public health issues. In my free time, I enjoy bonding with people over food. I love to search for new plant-forward restaurants to try and to browse small, curated grocery stores. I also enjoy learning about digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and project management.

Jeaneth Lliguicota

Hello! My name is Jeaneth Lliguicota, and I’m a junior at Queens College studying Computer Science. I’m excited about being a part of the ninth class of Civic Innovation Fellows because open data is the future of the tech world and I can’t wait to learn more. The data will provide fellow New Yorkers or the government help by making everybody’s life simpler. I’ve always seen myself working to better the community. In the beginning, I was learning with upcoming lawyers to understand the legal system to see what I could do, and I’ve learned that we can do much more digitally reshaping internal branches’ tools. I love watching documentaries about animal planets and the prehistoric world.

Mohammad Khalil

Hi, my name is Mohammad Khalil. I am a senior at New York City College of Technology. I will graduate in May, 2023. I am from Bangladesh. As a first-generation immigrant, life was very hard for me in the United States in the beginning, but this is a land of opportunity and I am lucky that I can build a better future for myself and for my family. I am a tech savvy person and I want to build my career in tech.

My major is IT Operations but while taking some data related classes I got interested in working with data. I want to start a career as a data analyst when I graduate. Data is very powerful. It can give us insights into the past, present and future with proper analysis. In Beta NYC I was given the opportunity to learn more about data and how the city and city officials use data to build new things and make our beautiful city better every day. I am hopeful that after completing this program I will be more experienced and knowledgeable about the city and its structures. This city has given me a lot of things, it is time to give something back to the city and through Beta NYC. It’s just the start.

Nicholas He

Hi everyone, my name is Nicholas He. I am currently attending New York City College of Technology. I am a senior majoring in computer systems and I am graduating in this upcoming spring semester! I am really excited to be a part of the ninth class of the Civic Innovation Fellows because I want to learn more about open data and also, I want to benefit the communities that we all live in! I am also a huge fan of the NBA and also enjoy playing basketball whenever I have free time. Not only is basketball really good for exercising, it is a way for me to make new friends on the basketball court.

Prachi Purkaystha

Greetings! My name is Prachi Purkaystha. I am a junior at Queens College studying computer science. I am thrilled to be a part of the Civic Innovation Fellowship and learn everything there is to know about the community we live in, as well as how we can enhance and gain access and improve open data.  In the previous year, I worked on a project relating to environmental justice and growth, where I conducted extensive research on the fast fashion industry, plastic use, and public transportation, and created a book for younger youth to educate them about the community and what actions they can take to improve it. I view myself as one of those who genuinely care about the community, and with the use of technology, I want to explore how far and how well we can take our community, and as a person working in the field of technology, I want to link the use of big data and AI to our local communities.

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