Tracy, TechGirl 2020, USA
I’m currently leading an organization/project that aims to make tech education accessible through distributing kits and curriculum that teach technology and coding concepts without the use of any digital technology or WiFi. Also, in true TechGirls spirit, I’ve been working to close the gender gap in computer science through the girls coding club I founded and lead at my school.
In the summer of 2020, I founded Tech+Me, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to making computer science and tech education more accessible to low-income and underserved children while empowering underrepresented groups in the tech field. With COVID-19 shedding light on a pre-existing issue of how many people still lack access to computers and the Internet, I wanted to bring tech education to children in a more accessible manner. I thought it was especially important to focus on computer science education since computer science is one of the fastest growing fields with seven million job openings in 2015 being occupations that required coding skills. Tech+Me’s main project, the Learning Kit Initiative, is unique in the way it approaches the issue with the accessibility of computer science education to children of low-income backgrounds through a cost-effective approach. Our free hands-on learning kits, which include interactive activities and crafts, teach kids concepts about coding and technology without using any digital technology or Internet.
My vision is to create a world of educational equity where computer science and tech education is readily accessible. Through Tech+Me, I aim to transform children who lack opportunity, resources, and tech education into innovators, changemakers, leaders of the future. We’ve already distributed over 1500 kits to over 10 cities in both the US and rural communities in Mexico. We’ve also reached over 1400 youth and students across 10+ countries through the learning kit initiative and our projects, like our She Creates Makeathon, which empowers and equips women pursuing tech entrepreneurship with coding and business skills. Besides my work with Tech+Me, I also work to bridge the gender gap in computer science and STEM through the Girls Who Code club I founded and lead at my high school.
Participating in the Helping Hands Pathway in the TechGirls program gave me both the confidence and the “push” to take action towards an issue I am passionate about: educational inequality, specifically in computer science and tech. You can find more information about Tech+Me at: techplusme.org