In her own words: I work for Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization that encourages and inspires girls to pursue a career in computer science and coding. I work as a teacher in various after-school programs, M.S. 244, Global Technology Preparatory, and Girls Bronx Preparatory. In the midst of the fast-growing need for developers and engineers, many of these girls start to dislike STEM due to social pressures and general lack of encouragement. Girls who attend our after school programs learn coding through online resources such as Scratch, Code.org, and KhanAcademy and others.
Teaching is very fun but there are many challenges one must face. Public speaking was never my strong suit and I never thought I would need this skill until some future time in my career. However, being able to present and articulate my ideas and knowledge to 13-year-olds is an important part of my role at Girls Who Code. There are some days when the students lose focus or their behavior is influenced negatively, which makes classroom behavior management very hard. I have learned presentation techniques and behavior management skills from my co-teacher’s feedback and positive encouragement.
It is extremely satisfying and inspiring by the end of every week when I get look back at the girls’ progress and their projects. I also love the fact that these girls have the chance to be exposed to coding and the world of STEM-variants at a young age. I was introduced to CodeNow during my senior year in high school which made me pursue a career in Computer Science. Only a small number of girls major in math and science and most of them believe that those types of careers are for boys. At Girls Who Code, I am able to serve as representative of that small, but growing, number of women who want to be creative in this field. Through my work I am able to inform the younger generation that coding is actually very fun. A few students have come up to me and said that they want to create apps and sites in the future. I feel so proud and happy of them and their hard work and am grateful for this opportunity to help them by giving back.