Kimberly Bryant

San Francisco, California, United States

Founder, Black Girls CODE

<p><strong>Our mission:&nbsp;</strong><span>To increase the number of women of color in digital careers by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 14 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science in a supportive, and challenging environment.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="color: #ffffff;">,</span></strong>&nbsp;When I was first introduced to computer programming as a freshman in Electrical Engineering, Fortran and Pascal were the&nbsp;popular&nbsp;languages for newbies in computing and the Apple Macintosh was the new kid on the block. I remember being excited by the prospects, and looked forward to embarking on a rich and rewarding career after college.</p> <p><span><br /><span>&nbsp; But I also recall,&nbsp;as I pursued my studies,&nbsp;feeling culturally isolated: few of my classmates looked like me. While we shared similar aspirations and many good times, there&rsquo;s much to be said for making any challenging journey with people of the same cultural background.</span><br /><br /><span>&nbsp; Much has changed since my college days, but there&rsquo;s still a dearth of African-American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions, an absence that cannot be explained by, say, a lack of interest in these fields. Lack of access and lack of exposure to STEM topics are&nbsp;the likelier&nbsp;culprits.</span><br /><br /><span>&nbsp; By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide&nbsp; young and pre-teen girls of color&nbsp;opportunities to learn in-demand skills to &nbsp;at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.</span><br /><br /><span>&nbsp; That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: &nbsp;to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become&nbsp;builders&nbsp;of technological innovation and of their own futures.</span></span></p>

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