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Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two students talking to each other

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program

Are you ready to embark on an electrifying journey into the world of coding and computer science? If you’ve ever dreamed of creating your own apps, websites, or even shaping the future of technology, then you’re in for a treat. Get ready to dive headfirst into the fascinating universe of the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program!

This isn’t your ordinary summer camp; it’s a coding extravaganza designed exclusively for high school students like you, eager to crack the code to a world of endless possibilities.

In this blog, we’re about to unlock the secrets of this empowering program, where you’ll discover not only the amazing tech skills you’ll gain but also the incredible community of like-minded young women ready to change the game.

Get ready to be inspired, ignited, and informed – it’s time to take your first step toward a future in tech!

How Did Girls Who Code Started?

Imagine this: It’s 2012, and the tech world is buzzing with innovation and possibility. But there’s a problem. A big one. A problem that wasn’t just about computers and algorithms but about fairness and the future.

That’s when Reshma Saujani stepped onto the scene with a mission to change the game. You see, she noticed something extraordinary (and not in a good way) while running for Congress in 2010.

Girls were missing from the tech party. They weren’t getting the chance to code, to create, to conquer the digital frontier. So, she decided it was time to fix that. Girls Who Code was born!

Reshma’s vision was simple but revolutionary: close the gender gap in technology. She knew that girls had the same tech chops as anyone else; they just needed a chance.

And so, with passion in her heart and a fire in her belly, she set out to make it happen. Fast forward to today, and Girls Who Code is a nationwide sensation, inspiring and equipping young women just like you to dive headfirst into the world of computer science.

It’s not just about code; it’s about empowerment, about giving you the skills and confidence to conquer the future.

Girls Who Code Values

At Girls Who Code, they uphold diversity, fairness, and belonging at the core of their mission. Their team recognizes that historical and institutional obstacles, especially biases and prejudice related to race, have contributed to the growing gender gap in the field of computer science and who gets the chance to pursue opportunities in this dynamic realm.

Their focus extends beyond just gender diversity; they are committed to empowering young women who have been historically underrepresented in computer science, particularly girls who:

  1. Hail from underrepresented minority communities, including African American/Black, Hispanic or Latina, Bi/Multiracial, Native American/Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander backgrounds.
  2. Come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically those eligible for free and/or reduced-price school lunches.
  3. Have faced limited exposure to or access to computer science education.

Girls Who Code not only recognizes but also deeply values the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, abilities, age, national origin, and religious or spiritual identities.

In their community and programs, we warmly embrace anyone who identifies as female, regardless of their gender assignment at birth.

Moreover, they extend a welcoming hand to those who identify as non-binary or gender nonconforming and who seek an environment that identifies with the female experience.

a young muslim woman wearing a hijab and typing unto her laptop

Women Empowerment at Girls Who Code

Women’s empowerment lies at the very heart of Girls Who Code, and it’s a powerful force that courses through every line of code and every byte of data in this remarkable organization.

Girls Who Code isn’t just about teaching young women how to program computers; it’s about teaching them how to shape the future.

At GWC, empowerment starts with the belief that every girl and woman has the innate ability to excel in technology and computer science.

It’s about tearing down the walls of stereotypes that have, for too long, held women back from fully embracing these fields.

GWC encourages young women to believe in themselves, to speak up, and to reach for the stars, knowing that there’s no limit to what they can achieve.

Here, girls discover that their voices matter, that their ideas are valuable, and that they can lead the charge in the tech world.

They’re encouraged to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and embrace their unique perspectives. Girls Who Code provides a safe and supportive space for girls to grow, make mistakes, and learn from them.

Through mentorship and role models, girls see firsthand that women can and do thrive in tech. They meet inspiring women who have shattered glass ceilings, and they’re shown that they can do the same. This isn’t just about coding; it’s about creating a sisterhood of future tech leaders.

Girls Who Code empowers girls to be bold, to dream big, and to pursue their passions unapologetically. It teaches them resilience, determination, and the invaluable skill of problem-solving. It instills in them the confidence to tackle any challenge that comes their way.

Ultimately, empowerment at Girls Who Code is about giving girls the tools, the knowledge, and the self-assuredness to make their mark in a world that’s increasingly powered by technology.

It’s about equipping them with the skills to not only navigate the tech landscape but to reshape it.

Girls Who Code empowers girls to be the innovators, the creators, and the leaders they were born to be. And in doing so, it’s not just changing their lives; it’s changing the face of technology itself.

three female students in a staircase

Girls Who Code Summer Programs

Girls Who Code has two exciting programs on the table: a 2-week Summer Immersion Program and the 6-week Self-Paced Program. 

You get to choose the style of learning that suits you best while forging remarkable connections along the way.

If you’re a high school student who identifies as a girl or non-binary, you’re more than welcome to apply!

Plus, here’s the best part: you don’t need any prior computer science experience to dive in and get started. It’s all about your passion and curiosity.

What is the Girls Who Code Two-Week Summer Immersion Program?

The 2-week Summer Immersion Program (SIP) is an exciting journey tailor-made for high school students! In SIP, you’ll be part of live virtual classes generously sponsored by some of the biggest names in the business, including MetLife, Bank of America, and Accenture.

In 2023, GWC introduced an Introduction to Game Design! The program is all about demystifying the world of computer science for beginners and intermediates alike.

You’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of CS concepts, learn the art of iterative design, get your feet wet in the fascinating world of UX design, and even take your first steps into the tech industry.

It is a learning adventure that’ll open doors to endless possibilities!

Who Are Eligible for the Girls Who Code Two-Week Summer Immersion Program (SIP)?

If you are a 9th to 11th grader, you are eligible to apply. They are also now welcoming eligible summer alumni!

Financial Aid

You may receive a $300 grant based on financial need (available to qualifying students in the United States only).

a woman student holding a laptop

What is the Girls Who Code Six-Week Self-Paced Program?

In the Self-Paced Program, high school students have the chance to dive into various areas of tech, whether it’s web development using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript or exploring more advanced aspects of Python, with a special focus on cybersecurity or our brand-new data science courses!

When you’re in the Self-Paced Program, you get to set your own learning pace. Plus, you won’t be going at it alone – there are weekly live advisory sessions and fun activities to help you build connections and a sense of community.

Who Are Eligible for the Girls Who Code Six-Week Self-Paced Program?

Present 9th to 12th graders (which includes summer alumni and seniors about to graduate) are eligible to join this summer program.

Is there a fee for participating in Girls Who Code Summer Programs?

Absolutely not! Every single one of Girls Who Code’s summer programs come with a fantastic price tag: FREE of charge!

How can I Determine Which Summer Program is the Right One For Me to Apply To?

The Self-Paced Program suits 12th-grade students and those who like having a flexible schedule, regardless of their computer science experience level.

On the other hand, if you’re in 9th to 11th grade and have beginner or intermediate CS skills and can commit to a live, two-week program, the virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) is your ideal choice.

But wait, there’s more! If you’ve got more CS experience under your belt, the Self-Paced Program is also a fantastic option.

It offers an intermediate track in cybersecurity and introduces a brand-new data science track, giving you even more ways to explore your tech interests.

What Tech and Equipment Do I Need to Participate in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program?

To take part in any of the GWC summer programs, you will need:

  • A computer or laptop with both audio and video features.
  • A dependable internet connection.
  • A safe and quiet place to join in during program hours.

While they recommend using headphones, it’s not mandatory. All the summer program activities and projects are web-based, so you’ll need to stream live video calls and access emails and websites.

There’s no need to download any software or pre-existing programs onto your computer.

When you fill out the Summer Programs Application, they will ask about your technology setup at home to ensure they will give the best possible experience for you.

An unidentified female student typing on a laptop and writing on her notebook as part of her dual degree program

How Can I Apply to Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs?

The virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) Student Grant, previously known as the Stipend Award, is here to provide financial assistance to qualified students in the United States.

Girls Who Code has established this grant to support students who might otherwise miss out on earning income during the summer months.

Whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not, if you’re interested in SIP, we strongly encourage you to apply for this grant.

To get started, you’ll need to complete the virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) Student Grant application using SurveyMonkey Apply.

You can access this step once you’ve finished your Summer Programs Application and selected the virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) as your program of choice, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

We suggest having a chat with your parent or legal guardian while filling it out—it’s a quick process, taking only about 10-15 minutes to complete.

To apply for and maintain your eligibility for the SIP Student Grant, it’s essential to commit to the Attendance Policy throughout the virtual Summer Immersion Program.

Remember, you must submit your SIP Student Grant Application by your application deadline.

If you need guidance, you can check out the step-by-step walkthrough for the 2023 virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) Student Grant application, where you’ll find important notices and handy tips to ensure a successful application submission.

Are the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program like Internships?

Nope, Girls Who Code summer programs aren’t classified as internships. They’re all about experiential education during the summer. Instead of internships, think of them as immersive learning experiences. Your daily activities will revolve around classroom-style learning, exploration, and various engaging experiences.

You’ll dive into computer science instruction, connect with professionals, and participate in interactive activities to broaden your horizons.

What does the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program’s Schedule and Format look like?

The virtual Summer Immersion Program has a dynamic schedule designed to make each day exciting and enriching. We aim to maximize your learning experience, foster a strong sense of community, and, of course, inject a lot of fun into it!

The program runs from Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) and includes a mix of class time and individual project work. They will be there to support you during office hours if you ever need extra help or guidance on your weekly projects.

During your time with the GWC summer program, you’ll not only attend partner-sponsored events and engage in collaborative sisterhood activities but also dive deep into web-based coding and tackle some intriguing final projects.

Now, for an exciting twist in our 2-week virtual Summer Immersion Program, they are introducing an all-new Game Design track!

In the first week, you’ll embark on a journey into the world of game design, delving into the iterative design process. You’ll bring your creative ideas to life using p5.js, a JavaScript library designed for imaginative coding.

The week will be packed with creating interactive avatars, crafting choose-your-own-adventure games, and building captivating collection-style games.

The cherry on top? The week wraps up with a thrilling playtest session, where you’ll get to test one of your games with your fellow participants. This is your chance to reflect on the process and think about improving your creations based on the feedback you receive.

In week two, brace yourself for an exciting challenge: designing your very own game in just four days!

It’s like a game jam where you and your friends if you choose to team up, will prototype a game using the skills you’ve acquired in the first week.

Your game’s design will revolve around a special prompt that we’ll unveil during the second week.

Along the way, you’ll delve into the fundamentals of user experience design, rapid prototyping, and playtesting and get a glimpse into various computer science career paths.

As a grand finale, we’ll showcase our games and celebrate our accomplishments. And don’t worry. All the daily activities, materials, and project details will be provided to you before class each day to keep the excitement flowing!

a female student grabbing a book from a library shelf

Girls Who Code Achievements Through the Years

Since 2012, Girls Who Code has been making waves in the tech world. As of 2022, they’ve had the privilege of serving a whopping 580,000 students, and among them, there are 185,000 remarkable alumni who have moved on to college.

Their mission remains crystal clear: they’re steadfast on the path to bridge the gender gap in entry-level tech positions by 2030.

And now, as they step into a new decade of action, they have set their sights even higher, aiming to reach and empower 1 million students.

In 2022, Girls Who Code expanded their virtual and hybrid program offerings, ensuring that their students wouldn’t have to make tough choices between their programs and part-time work, caregiving duties, or other after-school commitments.

As the older students geared up for the competitive job market, Girls Who Code launched Technical Interview Prep, demystifying one of the most challenging aspects of the job interview process.

They also recognized that success in the early stages of one’s career requires more than just technical know-how, so they introduced the Leadership Academy, providing mentorship and project management skills to college-aged students.

These programs have become the secret sauce for the students, granting them insider access to an industry known for its closed doors.

Given that more than 50% of the Girls Who Code students come from historically underrepresented backgrounds, they’ve been laser-focused on leveling the playing field and dismantling the barriers that have kept them from realizing their tech dreams.

The results speak for themselves: among the GWC alumni who have entered the workforce, over half are now working in tech-related roles, a significant achievement in a field where, nationally, only 26% of computing jobs are held by women.

two beautiful sorority members laughing and joking while embracing with hands on shoulders with copyspace

Conclusion

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program isn’t just about coding; it’s about unlocking the doors to a world of possibilities. It’s a chance to explore, create, and connect with a vibrant community of like-minded young women.

From web development to game design, cybersecurity to data science, this program offers a launchpad for your tech dreams. Whether you’re a coding novice or already have some experience under your belt, Girls Who Code has something exciting in store for you.

As you’ve seen, it’s not just about learning lines of code; it’s about building your future. So, why wait? Take that leap, shatter stereotypes, and rewrite the narrative of women in tech.

If you’re seeking advice on getting into pre-college programs, it’s a smart move to reach out to experts in college admissions, such as AdmissionSight. With more than ten years of experience, our team has successfully navigated students through the demanding admissions process, helping them secure places at prestigious universities worldwide. Don’t hesitate to schedule your first consultation with us!

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