Cyd Q La Luz considers himself to be a humble geek. As an eleven year old he would reroute the telnet connection of public library terminals to play online games. When he got his first personal computer at age thirteen – a refurbished laptop running Windows ME that was within his family’s budget – he booted up a linux system on it because he wanted a more customizable OS. In middle and high school under his birth name Celia Laluz he won a number of national and regional writing contests, and he attributes the recognition he received for his writing to his love of fantasy and science fiction.
During his time at Reed College Cyd worked with Janus Youth Programs, a non-profit providing services to homeless youth, and Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy organization. With Basic Rights Oregon Cyd helped organized more than 200 youth attendees in support of HB 2599, the legislation which won protections against bullying for LGBTQ students across the state.
After graduating from Reed in 2010 Cyd taught for the San Francisco Unified School District for two years. In addition to working as a teacher assistant during the day and leading STEM classes for after school programs, Cyd administered two computer labs for two different summer school programs and repaired a total of six computers that were about to be needlessly thrown out. Since his time as a teacher Cyd has gone on to work for educational tech companies such as BrightBytes, where he integrates student information databases with web applications. Always thankful for the ways in which he was nurtured during his education and career, Cyd works hard to ensure that students across the country continue to benefit from the technological resources available to them.