Lovisa Svallingson emitted powerful sunshine if you were fortunate enough to bask in her warmth. Born in Sweden in 1992 to parents Helene and Jan, Lovisa was number three in a group of four siblings: Ulrika, Johanna, and Gabriel. She was a beloved daughter, sibling, partner, friend, and mentor. All of these things—and so much more.
A Brilliant Mind
“As I help, I learn more myself.” – Lovisa Svallingson’s motto
Lovisa’s family lovingly recalls how as a quick learner, she not only did the homework for herself, but for her friends. Before moving to the United States, she also served as a teacher for students at lower grades. It was her innate desire to learn and help those around her increase their ability to learn. At the young age of thirteen, she had even started taking an evening class in Russian. In fact, she later spent time in Russia, France, Spain, and China and could speak ALL of those languages fluently.
After two years of college in the United States, she was introduced to yet another language—the language of computers. “At Turing, she found the challenge, the community, and the dynamic field she was looking for,” her parents said. After completing Turing, Lovisa again turned to teaching. She mentored and coached hundreds of students, helping them learn how to code and navigate their new careers. She taught at Try Coding events, mentored students 1:1, and ran the Joan Clarke Society for women and non-binary people at Turing, where she organized events like deep dives, panels, and job fairs.
A Dedication to the Environment
“I am very passionate about combating climate change.” – Lovisa Svallingson
Lovisa was driven to take action in helping solve the climate crisis. She channeled the urgency felt around the world by taking action: speaking out about climate change and reducing waste. Her friend Ilana Corson said, “She composted before composting was cool. She never wanted anything to go to waste...food, clothes, furniture and was always one to shop secondhand. She always made something out of nothing.”
Through coding, Lovisa put her dedication into practice for the environment and equality. When she started at Patch, a sustainability-oriented company, she was happy to be able to align her professional life with her personal values. She built some of the most foundational elements of their carbon offset platform, and continued to mentor young women breaking into engineering as she worked.
A Lasting Legacy
“Lovisa showed us that love, friendship, and dedication are not transactional, but transformative. Through her warmth, intelligence, wit, and conviction, she demonstrated that everything is possible and that everyone has a role to play.” – the Svallingson family
On May 18, 2021, Lovisa was tragically killed in a hit and run accident in San Francisco. Today, on the one-year anniversary of her death and in collaboration with her family, Turing is announcing the formation of the bigLOVISA Scholarship Fund. The naming is derived from her bigLOVISA Twitter handle—which she jokingly said would be her stage name when she eventually became a luchador—but in truth, stands for her belief in doing big things.
This scholarship will be awarded annually to an incoming Turing student to continue the big work at the intersection of tech and the environment that Lovisa was so passionately committed to. As her family remembers, “Lovisa always said that she was going to ‘change the world.’ And so she did. Her positive life force will continue to inspire and strengthen us all. The bigLOVISA Scholarship is only one of her many reverberations.”