Female-identifying 10th and 11th graders, take note: The Girls Who Code seven-week Summer Immersion Program is returning to JPMorgan Chase in downtown Wilmington in June, offering an opportunity to learn coding and computer science skills that can help them toward a potential career in tech.
To make this program accessible as possible, the program is free, funded by the organization’s partners like JPMC, and includes free lunch daily and a stipend of $350 to $1,200 to cover transportation and living costs for qualifying students, based on family income.
The curriculum, geared toward students with little to no coding experience, includes project-based learning and a final project designed to address a real-world problem the student cares about. Projects across the seven weeks incorporate art, storytelling, robotics, video games, websites and apps.
There is more the program that just learning code, says Girls Who Code recruiter Nicole Haley.
“Of course you’re learning how to code, and that’s important, but what’s also important is to really break the idea of the gender gap [in] technology right now,” Haley said. “The goal is for young girls to stop walking around thinking they don’t have a place in this field. A lot of what we’re finding is that sometimes people were thinking, ‘It’s a white male dominated space, and when I walk into the room I don’t see myself.’ It’s really having conversations about that.”
Students in the program will meet woman engineers who share things in common with them.
“[It’s an] opportunity to work with other girls like yourself who have never coded before, so this amazing sisterhood is formed — a lot of the young women who’ve taken the class walk away with amazing friendships,” Haley said.
The program builds confidence with tech, but one of the challenges of a program like this is that there are students with no coding experience who don’t have the confidence to apply in the first place.
“I would tell that student to not overthink this and give themselves a chance and apply, because there’s a very high chance that you will be accepted in the program if you meet the eligibility requirements,” said Haley.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a rising high school junior or senior (going into 11th or 12th grade)
- Have not taken Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate classes in computer science
- Have not participated in the Summer Immersion Program in the past
- Reside in the United States, regardless of immigration status
- Identify as female, regardless of gender assignment at birth or legal recognition, or are gender non-conforming or non-binary and who would like to learn in a female-identified environment
- Can commit to the attendance policy that allows no more than three absences over the seven-week, five-days-a-week session (the program will close for Independence Day)
The online application takes 20 to 30 minutes.
“The biggest thing we’re asking you to do is perhaps do an essay 300 words or less,” Haley said. Students applying for a stipend will also need to upload a 1040 from their parents or guardians.
The deadline to apply for the Wilmington program, which runs from June 22 to Aug. 17, is March 13.-30-