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San Francisco Non-Profit Plans to Teach Computer Programming to 300 Girls in 90 Days Across the US

Black Girls Code continues to inspire young minds with a plan to train more than 300 girls to code during upcoming summer sessions across the United States.

San Francisco, CA, June 15, 2012 --( Black Girls Code, an up and coming Bay Area nonprofit, is now planning to enroll 300-400 students in a summer class series to take place in Oakland, CA; Chicago, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, and Detroit, MI. The organization is dedicated to educating young girls of color ages 7 to 17 in digital media and computer programming concepts as well as building lifelong skills in problem solving and abstract thinking.

Fresh off the success of the 6-week San Francisco software development workshop earlier this year held at the offices of ThoughtWorks, the organization hopes to introduce more girls of color from across the nation to a wide range of highly focused computer programming concepts taught by a knowledgeable and experienced group of instructors. The classes immerse students in a variety of technical computer-based topics, paving the way for careers in computer programming and engineering.

Kimberly Bryant, founder of BGC, majored in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science (CS) at Vanderbilt University. Having worked several years in the tech industry, she began to notice the alarmingly low percentage of minority women in her field. After moving to the Bay Area, Bryant felt a calling to take action to give young women of color the opportunity to change the face of the industry. “It’s very important that we encourage the girls to develop confidence, leadership, and collaboration. I think that with those skills they would have the ability to take on a career in technology or anything else they choose.”

Currently, women of color represent only three percent of professionals working in computer science and engineering. Black Girls Code is dedicated giving young women of color the opportunity to work with a wide range of technological tools such as Python and Ruby on Rails, two of the most widely used computer languages in software development. The workshops encourage students to see past the visual user interface of a game or application. Relatively small class sizes encourage students to develop collective thinking and problem solving skills necessary for success in the job market.

The Black Girls Code Summer of Code campaign will combine a massive fundraising effort with a goal of reaching more than 300 girls and boys, in seven cities, in 90 days. The classes taught will include topics such as “Build a Webpage in a Day” and video game programming. Black Girls Code hopes the ambitious plan to reach a large number of students will provide exposure for more youth to the opportunities in the fields of technology and pave the way for future expansion of their programs to the selected cities. Black Girls Code has brought together experienced mentors, TAs, and instructors, offer real world experience in the classroom and come from a diverse range of tech backgrounds all with a mission to give students access to the 21st century skills needed to become the tech creators and builders of tomorrow.

Founded in 2011, the organization has made a big impact on the community in a short time. Only eight months after the initial pilot class in October 2011, Black Girls Code had a strong turnout for the Spring Class Series and has plans to offer similar workshop in three additional cities across the nation: Oakland, CA; Atlanta, and Chicago. The mission of BlackGirlsCode is to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders who will become the leaders and creators of tomorrow.
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Kimberly Bryant

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