Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization that hopes to nourish young women’s interest in the STEM fields. This year that officially have $1 million to give out to underprivileged girls.
As of Tuesday, the organization announced to CNN Money that the funds they’ve collected will be distributed to girls in the form of scholarships for their summer programs.
The summer programs are available to high school girls. While the coding and tech classes are free of charge, there are many girls who miss out on the programs because they can’t afford to stop working during the summer.
Girls Who Code CEO, Reshma Saujani (40), wants to help bridge that gap with the scholarships. She said:
“We found a lot of girls needed to have [some compensation] to replace their summer job or pay for transportation. (…) I, personally, was one of those girls. Even if i were passionate about coding, I wouldn’t have been able to participate.”
The organization that started in 2012 offers seven week summer programs in different cities. The only requirement to attend is that you are a high school junior or senior and that you are a girl.
The courses offered span a range of topics from web development to design. From robotics to mobile development. Each year more girls are registering and attending the program and this year is a high in participation. There are 1,560 young ladies expected to attend. Scholarship amounts awarded will be dependent on final enrollment numbers but it’s looking like they will range from $400 – $1, 400.
STEM industries have always been male dominated, but with programs like these there is a chance that more women will trickle into the workforce in STEM related careers.
Companies like Accenture, Adobe, Facebook and AT&T have recognized that potential and have sponsored the programs by offering monetary donations, office space and mentors for the girls.
AT&T specifically has been involved with Girls Who Code since they first started up. Marissa Shorenstein is the AT&T New York president and has been very vocal about the benefits of having girls be encouraged with their STEM interests. She said:
“As a tech company ourselves, we see the need for more diversity within our company. (…) It opens [girls] up to the possibility of a career in computer science, which we know is a gateway to better employment for them and a brighter economic future.”