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Jan 19, 2016

How Girls Who Code is expanding its summer program to help diversify the tech industry

Posted by Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that equips girls with computing skills to succeed in the digital age and that has received previous funding from Knight Foundation. Today, Knight Foundation is announcing $500,000 in new support for the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program.

Photo above:  Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani visits a Summer Immersion Program classroom. Photo by Jessica Scranton.

Miami has become an essential hub for anyone who wants to shake up the tech sector. Now, it’s time to bring more girls than ever into the fold.

Our partnership with Knight Foundation is a huge part of the continued expansion of our Summer Immersion Programs into the Southeast, one of the fastest-growing regions in the country for technological innovation.

A lot has changed since our two organizations last worked together in 2014, and a lot has stayed the same.

The biggest changes have come in our capacity. Girls Who Code started as one classroom in 2012, but to date has taught 10,000 girls. This summer will be our biggest ever, with Knight Foundation joining 41 other leading technology companies and organizations in 11 U.S. cities to offer Summer Immersion Programs. This expansion will allow us to help provide world-class technology education to 1,560 girls across this country. Every morning this summer, 60 of those girls will walk through the same doors as Miami’s leading technologists and philanthropists – giving them a feeling of belonging in this community, which they will carry with them as they graduate high school and select a major in college.

What hasn’t changed is even more important: our unyielding commitment to educating the next generation of female technology leaders in Miami. We’re still going to offer our innovative blend of instruction in Web development and design, robotics and mobile development – all under the auspices of talented and committed female engineers and entrepreneurs.

Even as we’ve grown, nobody at Girls Who Code believes it’s time to take our foot off the gas pedal. The challenge confronting us still looms large. There will be 1.4 million computer specialist jobs in this country by 2020, and women educated in the United States are on pace to fill just 3 percent of them.

As the application process opens Jan. 19, it’s important to remember our shared goal: to turn schools in Miami, and all over the country, into a sustainable pipeline to one of the economy’s fastest-growing and highest-paying industries. Thanks to partners such as Knight Foundation, this summer we’ll be closer than ever before. Let’s get started.

Girls 13 to 17 years old can apply now at girlswhocode.fluidreview.com. Follow Reshma Saujani on Twitter @reshmasaujani.

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