This was clearly evident at the Orientation Program to kick off the Girls Who Code Program in Atlanta. Girls Who Code is a National Non-Profit Organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. AT&T is hosting two classes of students in Atlanta as part of the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program in June - July 2016. Forty students were selected among a large pool of applicants to be part of the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at the AT&T Atlanta site. For the Summer of 2016, there will be over twenty programs offered in cities throughout the United States including Miami, New York, and San Francisco. During the 7 week course, students will learn valuable coding skills that will become a strong foundation for additional coursework and study in the field computer programming.
There is an old saying or expression, "It takes a whole village to raise a child." AT&T took this saying to heart in sponsoring and hosting the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at the AT&T Building in Atlanta, Georgia, and at six other locations throughout the country. The support is through AT&T Aspire, the company's signature education initiative to promote student success in school and beyond. The "village" expression essentially stands for the proposition that raising a child is a communal effort.
At the Orientation Program held at AT&T Atlanta, the participants and parents were greeted by over a dozen volunteers including management with AT&T. The course work will be led by one lead instructor and two teaching assistants per classroom. At AT&T, there will be two classrooms with twenty students per classroom. The teacher to student ratio in the Girls Who Code Program is quite impressive thanks to companies like AT&T. The Summer Immersion Program is fully staffed and paid for by corporate sponsors. There is no tuition or charge at all to students who participate in the Girls Who Code Program.
The keynote speaker at the Girls Who Code Orientation in Atlanta was Stacey Y. Abrams who is the House Minority Leader for the Georgia House of Representatives. Ms. Abrams, who has degrees from Spelman College, University of Texas, and Yale University, was quite an inspirational speaker. Ms. Abrams shared a bit of her life story growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi. She also provided the students with sage words of advice as follows:
Be Fearless - Be Faithful - Be a Friend
She carefully and sincerely covered these three keys to success and how she built upon both her struggles and triumphs to get through high school, undergraduate school, law school, and career endeavors. Ms. Abrams is the first woman and the first African American to be selected as the House Minority Leader in the State of Georgia.
AT&T and Girls Who Code have built quite a "village" this summer right there in Downtown Atlanta to provide a group of deserving and hard-working students with the experience of a lifetime. "Within our own employee base, we are committed to a lifetime of education and training," said Karla Riker, Director of Citizenship and Sustainability. "We are proud to work with Girls Who Code to ensure that young women are learning the skills essential to a successful future, and we are excited about the opportunity to host this 7-week intensive training program in Atlanta." Visit the Girls Who Code Website to find out more about this wonderful organization.
The community and general public should keep an eye on the graduates of the Girls Who Code Program who will undoubtedly be positive difference makers and mentors themselves in the years to come. The Good Deed Brigade salutes Girls Who Code, AT&T and other corporate sponsors who are all working together to bring the next generation of coders into the community. Remember, wherever you see the Good Deed Brigade, it's all good.