Many people assume that we are attempting to create job-ready students. That our workshops and camps give students a skill-set to jump directly into the workforce or create complex software or apps. Our primary goals are to SPARK interest in computer science, provide mentorship from women in the field, and point girls to the vast amount of resources that are available to them. Part of our mission is to also dispel any misconceptions about computer programming that might be held by young women and eliminate and reluctance they may have.
In our workshops, mentors conduct a learning experience that includes an introduction to computer programming, website construction, and video game development. Adult women teaching young women how to code in a comfortable, fun and engaging environment, where it is less about the programming content learned and more about the self-awareness and confidence gained.
We've made a long-term investment to create a path to gender equity and career parity, at least in computer programming. We're recruiting communities all across the U.S. (and elsewhere soon) to take on our banner and our mission. Programmers, organizations and companies are stepping up to the plate to help. Honestly, it feels good...really good. I couldn't be happier with the growth we've seen in such little time. I think it's partly a testament to the great group of women we have helping us, but also a testament to focusing on a specific group with a specific mission.
To wrap up this week's short post, I think to understand our organization the public must understand where we want to be and what are long-term goals are. Things are moving forward, but we've got a long way to go. So where do we want to be?
Simply stated, everywhere; we want to be everywhere- cities and towns big and small, urban and rural. We want to run thousands of young women of all backgrounds through our program each year to ignite that SPARK in computer programming. If our organization can help a few young women gain confidence and connect to successful women within their community, then we've succeeded.
We've got a long way to go but we'll get there. I think. Maybe? Yea, we will. Thanks for enduring this week's ramblings! We'll get the guest bloggers back on here next week!