Even though it may be difficult at times to go on your own, Gretchen Larsen has found the passion needed to get through the difficult times.
As a web development and design freelancer who teaches for Interface Code School and a volunteer throughout the community, Gretchen has greatly benefited from all of the connections she has been able to make at FUSE. For the last year and a half, she has been networking her skills and also learned the ins and outs of being successful.
“FUSE has been a place to learn to be more serious about what I am doing,” says Gretchen. “It has also been a place where support is endless. The founders, Bob and Andy, and Lana have been so supportive of me and encouraged me to be brave and bold in my decisions and declaring what I do to others.” Gretchen also believes without FUSE and the encouragement from all the members that she would not be doing what she is doing to the same degree.
Through community lunches, Friday Afternoon Clubs (Happy Hours), and board meetings Gretchen has been able to meet a lot of the members of FUSE and share her passion for teaching. Along with attending the Star City Code School graduation held in June and Chelsea Clinton visiting FUSE Gretchen has learned ways she can continue to enhance herself and her skills through others.
Gretchen hopes to strengthen her skills so she can continue to build and design websites and teach what she knows with others. Her goals are to make some money so she can turn around and help other people and create things that make her see good and feel goodness in others. She has been doing this some already. While working with a friend of hers to teach young children to code, Gretchen is also teaching her friend and serving the community.
Gretchen hopes that she can use a similar model for women coding developers and designers. “I want to encourage people to face their fear of “presenting,” and to embrace that fear as a challenge. So many women I know are uncertain or embarrassed about their skills when they are actually so incredibly knowledgeable and talented!”
Through all of her experiences at FUSE, Gretchen has been very grateful for all of the people she has met along her journey and looks forward to all of the people’s lives she will impact in the future. If there are a couple of things Gretchen would like to see more of at FUSE it would be more tables by the windows and WOMEN. “Men are everywhere in this space and I want to see as many women here as men.”