Girls Who Code

Launch Academy

By Launch Academy

February 1, 2022

When students join Launch Academy they are making a pledge to be an active participant in the  software developer community.  To jumpstart this goal, we invite thought leaders into Launch Academy on a weekly basis.  These intimate evening gatherings provide Launchers with a peek behind the curtain from the vantage point of an industry veteran.  Guest speakers range from founders to directors of engineering to alumni community leaders.  Often times these casual conversations lead to longer term relationships between Launchers and industry leaders.

We were recently joined by Yael Kaufman of Girls Who Code, as part of our Guest Speaker Series on Thursday, March 12. It was a great way for our up-and-coming developers to gain exposure to volunteer opportunities within the local tech community. The Girls Who Code Clubs, and the volunteers who work with them, encourage creating a quality computer science education for middle and high school age girls nationwide. These after-school clubs meet throughout the year and provide young female students with valuable technical skills. To be able to partner with Girls Who Code, and support their efforts, is highly meaningful to our team here at Launch.

A current Launcher, Meredith Fuhrman, volunteers with Girls Who Code and was able to offer her peers an insider’s perspective of her experience:

"I've been a volunteer Teaching Assistant for the Girls Who Code club at the Newton Public Library since November 2014. I assist the volunteer Lead Instructor, a software engineer from Google, in teaching local middle and high school girls the MIT Scratch programming language and JavaScript. It's been terrific to watch these girls go from avid consumers of smart phones and computer to developers who understand how their apps and devices really work. As of the time that I'm writing this, [the group of girls I am mentoring are] already in the unit where they develop lightweight mobile apps!"

Another current Launcher, Josh Mun, offers his perspective on Girls Who Code after hearing Yael's presentation:

"For starters, the presentation given by Yael Kaufman on Girls Who Code was a fantastic experience. With previous knowledge of the underrepresentation of women (and other minorities) in the computer science industry, the presentation piqued my interest. I have always been interested in either creating or living in a world that provides an open door for all who seek an opportunity to succeed, and I believe Yael clearly demonstrated that purpose as a guest speaker at Launch Academy.

Yael’s delivery of the Girls Who Code program was extremely thorough and presented many beneficial aspects of getting involved. Not only would this increase the exposure and development of women in the computer science field, it would also provide the mutual benefit for volunteers by learning new concepts and languages, solidifying fundamental concepts, and gaining valuable experience by teaching others.

I am naturally a curious person when faced with a topic of interest and ended up asking Yael many questions after her presentation. Her ability to deliver each answer in a calm and knowledgeable manner was gratifying and definitely put a stamp on my desire to sign up to volunteer for the Girls Who Code program."

For more information on how to get involved with GWC, visit their website or check out the following information packets:

Girls Who Code 2015 Clubs

Girls Who Code 2015 Volunteering