Congresswoman Suzan DelBene attended one day of a seven-week program at AT&T’s offices in Redmond on Friday. The program offers 11th- and 12th-grade girls 300-plus hours of instruction in web development and design, robotics and mobile development, along with mentorship and exposure to top female engineers and entrepreneurs.
DelBene shared her experience as a woman in science and technology; telling personal stories about her time working at Microsoft in Redmond and studying immunology in college. Following a 45-minute discussion with the student attendees, participants demonstrated programs they had written that enabled a robot to dance and climb out of a box.
Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Their programs inspire, educate and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code, which began in 2012, has grown from one Summer Immersion Program teaching 20 girls, to serving girls through nearly 500 Girls Who Code Clubs and 60 Summer Immersion Programs nationwide in 2015. Girls Who Code is currently on track to educate 10,000 girls in nearly 40 states by the end of the year.
As part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T has provided $3 million in funding to Girls Who Code since 2014. Most recently, AT&T recently contributed $2 million to Girls Who Code to support the expansion of the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and Clubs Program, and the launch of the Girls Who Code Alumni Network, which will help ensure that young female graduates of Girls Who Code programs have clear pathways to careers in the computing field.
AT&T has hosted the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program since 2013. In addition to Redmond, this summer AT&T is hosting seven programs in six cities across the country including: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Austin, Redmond, and New York City.
AT&T has also taken the Girls Who Code “Hire Me” pledge in order to open up new doors for alumni to internships and careers. In 2016, AT&T has committed to reserving a number of internships exclusively for graduates of Girls Who Code. These internships will consist of meaningful work designed to improve their skill set and augment their education to make them even more employable once they finish school.