Girls Who Code makes coding accessible

Girls Who Code makes coding accessible

Girls Who Code members have been working for several months to organize more opportunities that encourage girls to consider STEM fields and be confident about their skills. 

First up are weekly meetings and activities. After a year of hosting events virtually, board members, led by club co-presidents, juniors Diya Hasteer and Safaa Hussain, hope to build community among fellow Saint Francis club members this year. 

“We look forward to seeing enthusiastic female coders expanding their skills, collaborating on projects and participating in workshops throughout the year,” Diya and Safaa said. Their goal for the year is for club members to address a social issue through coding and computer science impact projects. 

These projects are similar to what hackathon participants worked on during the summer event organized by Girls Who Code. Eighty aspiring coders logged in from across the country and several international locations to attend HopperHacks III. Participants were asked to create a website that solved a social issue in the categories of the environment, diversity/inclusion or community. Girls Who Code partnered with Facebook employees who volunteered during the event as mentors, judges and panelists. 

“As women make up only 18 percent of computer science majors, it’s easy to feel intimidated in this field,” Diya and Safaa said. “Regardless of whether they won or not, participants should be really proud of themselves for coding an entire website in less than a day.”

Diya and Safaa said the hackathon was a great way for the club leaders, all new to organizing such an event, to kick off the new year and work together. Whether these Lancers were marketing the logistics of the hackathon or managing the participants, they found a collaborative group among themselves. 

“We could always rely on the board members to take on last-minute work and help each other out,” said the club co-presidents. “It was special to see us grow as a team and get to know each other throughout the process.”