Girl Who Code is an organization that gives young girls the opportunity to experience coding. A little background on how I got involved with it: I heard about the organization through my school’s mentoring program and ended up volunteering as a TA. It’s been amazing to see these girls so interested in technology. I can see many benefits, for both students and volunteers, of this organization and here a few that stand out to me:
1. These girls are getting an opportunity that they might not be able to get in school.
I know I didn’t have the opportunity to code in middle/high school. I didn’t take my first programming class until my second semester of college. Seeing girls get the opportunity to figure out their interests early on makes me happy. It inspires me to continue learning so I can be an even bigger role model for them.
2. They learn what it’s like in the real world.
My favorite part about the group is that they do a stand-up right at the beginning of class. Working in the real world, you have to know what to say in a stand-up. They learn that you have to talk about what you did yesterday and what your goals are for that day. I love seeing them get ahead and gain experience communicating in a group.
3. They create connections with other girls with similar interests.
Seeing the girls talk with each other and laugh at their /giphy messages on Slack (an instant messaging and collaboration system) makes my day. Even though they may be one of the few girls at their school who enjoys coding, this helps them know that they aren’t alone. Having someone to relate to is important to have for just about anyone.
4. They can have a role model/mentor.
Having someone to look up to is crucial. Role models motivate, inspire and give advice. Being young with so many options, it’s important to have someone to help out and give support. I know without role models in my life, I would be in a completely different place than I am now. They shape you into who you are.
5. The best part, these girls are always so excited about class.
My absolute favorite part of the day is seeing their passion and excitement. At the end of class one day, a girl said to me, “I wish we didn’t have to leave.” I loved seeing someone many years younger than me so excited about exactly what I’m excited about. Not only does Girls Who Code give young girls the opportunity to code, but they create an environment where it’s easy to create relationships and make memories. I recommend anyone who is looking to make a difference to become a mentor. Inspire someone to do great things and in return, you might become inspired too.