Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
[email protected]

APRIL 14, 2020 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact is excited to announce that on April 13, 2020 two Software Engineers, Ben Scheiner and Ben Whitehead, were interviewed by local Franklin High School student leader, Kayla Phu over Zoom.

Kayla prepared diligently for her debut and through her interview questions, was able to guide both guests’ stories to reveal their educational and career pathways. She became intrigued with Ben Scheiner’s story about a repurposed auto-mechanic robot that he had previously helped program to respond to movie directors through the use of an Xbox controller. Kayla and other students on the call have previously taken robotics classes at their school and their eyes beamed knowing that the possibility to apply that knowledge is real. 

Both Ben Scheiner and Ben Whitehead did not intentionally start programming to become software engineers, yet found themselves growing more curious about the subject. Both attended college and also attested to the notion that there are multiple avenues to become a software engineer for all groups of students. 

Christina Ou asked if coding is for everyone or for a specific group of people. Ben Scheiner brought up impostor syndrome and noted that he recognizes it is harder for women and people of color to join the programming community. Yet, Ben mentioned that “you do belong and the industry does want you. The code does not care anything about what color you are or what chromosomes you have. It’s just code.”

“I learned that even software engineers get impostor syndrome and that its very common.”

Mery Gurung, Passion Impact Student Leader, Franklin High School Junior

“I learned that for startups, it’s good to strive being a small startup for a couple years while still being very applicable for the community.”

Kamerin Vesajd, PCC Student

“When I start job applications I can make sure that I put information that will actually be more important to getting the interview.”

Sasha Rosenthal, Passion Impact Student Leader, Franklin High School Senior

Missed the interview? Watch it here.

View April 2020 Informational Interview Lineup

Register to join Informational Interviews.

Safety is paramount with Passion Impact. Each of their Zoom calls has a “Bouncer” to manage admittance, muting, and removal of any participant who does not abide by Passion Impact’s expectations. For students who have missed previous interviews, head over to Passion Impact’s Youtube channel to view their recordings.


Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.

For information: or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241

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