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(Jay Pickthorn /AP Images for Boys & Girls Clubs of America)
The future looks bright.

A 10-year-old girl won a fellowship for PhDs to design a robot and make the sad streets of Paris happy again

By Hanna Kozlowska

Anyone who has ever felt underqualified for a job they were applying for just got a new hero. A fearless 10-year-old girl named Eva submitted an application for a summer fellowship program in Paris meant for experienced data scientists and urban designers—and won.

According to a viral Facebook post from Kat Borlongan, the founder of Five by Five, the group that runs the fellowship program, Eva said she thinks the streets of Paris are sad, and she would like to build a robot to make them happy again, by creating street art. Eva has been learning to code, but she needs help to make her project work. Borlongan was so inspired by Eva that she will get to work with the president of Thymio, which makes educational robots Eva uses.

Borlongan told Eva in an open letter:

I am writing to you personally because your application inspired me. There was nothing on the website that said the program was open to 10 year olds but–as you must have noticed–nothing that said that it was not. You’ve openly told us that you had trouble making the robot work on your own and needed help. That was a brave thing to admit, and ultimately what convinced us to take on your project. Humility and the willingness to learn in order to go beyond our current limitations are at the heart and soul of innovation.

It is my hope that your work on robotics will encourage more young girls all over the world–not just to code, but to be as brave as you, in asking for help and actively looking for different ways to learn and grow.

Here’s the full post: