Connecting the Dots

In Unusual Year, Software Expands Reach of Girls Who Code Program

The COVID-19 pandemic canceled all sorts of summer camps and other programs this year, but a healthy dose of innovation actually helped increase the reach of our regular partnership with Girls Who Code. By leaning on online collaboration tools, the annual coding camp program reached nearly twice as many students – some of them long distances away.

This was a new way of doing things, but our commitment to getting more girls to code is not new. Since 2015, the BSA Foundation has partnered with Girls Who Code to host an annual summer coding class for DC-area high schoolers. By engaging directly with a group of young women who may one day become coders, works to increase diversity and close the gender gap in the tech sector.

This year, with the program moved completely online,’s classroom included nearly 40 young women, and the program reached students beyond the immediate Washington, DC area – including rural and suburban areas in Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Girls Who Code students present their final projects among peers and staff.

Throughout the program, students—including many who entered the course with no prior coding experience—learned to create their own websites using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and explored coding fundamentals. In addition to the computer science curriculum, students developed other essential skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and working in a group. Students also had the chance to take part in a mentorship workshop and learn about career opportunities in STEM. This year, our students heard from guest speakers including President Victoria Espinel, US Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission.

Despite the challenging circumstances this year, our highly engaged class of 37 high schoolers built their own websites, programmed custom apps, and created inspiring final projects all in just two weeks of instruction.

Today, fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women; by supporting initiatives like the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, aims to encourage young women to pursue in-demand STEM careers and promote workforce opportunity for all. And since every sector is a software sector, these skills will come in handy no matter what career path these young women choose to pursue.

We once again would like to congratulate the Girls Who Code Class of 2020 for their hard work and outstanding achievement this summer! Click here to read more about this year’s Summer Immersion Program.

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Jake MorabitoJake Morabito
Program Coordinator,

Jake Morabito serves as Program Coordinator at the BSA Foundation. In this capacity, he provides research, analysis, and project management support for the Foundation’s key organizational initiatives and events.

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