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A 10-Year-Old's Inspiring Letter Got Her A Prestigious Research Fellowship

“The streets of Paris are sad. I want to build a robot that will make them happy again."

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A 10-year-old girl who wants to make the streets of Paris "happy" with art just got accepted for a prestigious fellowship because her application was so inspiring.

YouTube / Via youtube.com

The Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship is a two-week program for experienced scientists, engineers, and designers to work on projects focused on making cities better.

It's the sort of thing you might apply to if you have an advanced degree in computer science or urban planning.

But Eva doesn't let trifling things like age hold her back. "The streets of Paris are sad," she wrote in her application. "I want to build a robot that will make them happy again."

Carot Blog / Via corot.top

Kat Borlongan, the founder of Five by Five, which runs the fellowship program, shared Eva's application letter on Facebook.

Eva said she was learning to program Thymio robots, like the one pictured above, to make chalk drawings on pavement. But she was having some trouble making it work.

"I want to join the program so the mentors can help me," she said.

Here's Eva's robot in action.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Borlongan replied to Eva to let her know she had been accepted because of how inspiring her letter was. "I love your project and agree that more should be done — through robotics or otherwise — to improve Paris’ streets and make them smile again," she said.

"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," Borlongan wrote in her reply.

"You’ve openly told us that you had trouble making the robot work on your own and needed help," she said. "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."

Borlongan said she hoped Eva's story would encourage other young girls to follow their dreams, and to look for "different ways to learn and grow."

BuzzFeed News reached out to Borlongan for comment.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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