Impact Story

Coding Training Inspires Guadalupe to Pursue a Career in STEM

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When Guadalupe began going to Girls Inc. of San Diego County, she didn’t know what to expect. But she knew she was ready to try something different. She knew that she wanted to accomplish something: something bold, something new and something that would equip her for the challenges sure to come in the college years in her future.

Prior to the program, Guadalupe wasn’t sure how to handle the challenges she faced at school, from managing homework projects to making friends. The program represented a big challenge to overcome – facing her fears. But she knew gaining confidence in herself and coming out of her shell were two steps it would take for her to achieve her dreams of studying nursing and psychology.

Guadalupe had a unique opportunity to participate in the debut of the Girls Inc. Made with Code program. San Diego was one of the few Girls Inc. affiliates across the nation providing the opportunity to learn 20 hours of computer science and coding. “I never knew how interesting it would be to work with other girls who code. Participating showed me how to help others, collaborate and give advice, and [learn] the importance of time management,” says Guadalupe.

Between January and June 2017, Guadalupe worked with a group of 30 of her peers in an afterschool program, receiving more than 20 hours of coding education. Approximately 37% of girls between ages 13-17 express interest in computer science, but just 3% of the anticipated 1.4 million computer science jobs added to industry will be filled by women during the next four years. The collaboration with Girls Inc. and Google Made with Code was designed to bridge this gap, equipping women at younger ages and with traditionally socioeconomic barriers to be able to overcome these challenges by engaging them with coding early on. It pairs well with the mission of Girls Inc. of San Diego County which encourages girls to take intellectual risks and achieve academically.

“I never knew how interesting it would be to work with other girls who code. Participating showed me how to help others, collaborate and give advice, and [learn] the importance of time management.”

Guadalupe is planning to pursue a degree at California State University-East Bay or California State University-Chico studying Nursing or Psychology. She credits her interest and ability to pursue a degree to her experience working as part of a group in Girls Inc.’s Google Made with Code program, learning something dynamically new and outside her range of experience. Smiling she states “Girls Inc. has played such an important role to me because it has helped me decide what steps to take to get to where I want to be. Before the program, I never knew what to expect in college, work or interviews.” Now she is ready to take on new challenges, independently and without hesitation.