Alongside spoken-word poetry, public speaking and writing, coding is a component of my activism that I enjoy using for social change. After 5 years of participating in FIRST Robotics teams for 5 years, I started attending Girls Who Code clubs. Every week, I had to travel over 100 miles from Richmond to Fredericksburg, VA, where the closest Girls Who Code club was located. In April of 2017, I was selected by Girls Who Code travel from Richmond to Atlanta for a coding immersion program with 19 other girls at G.E.
After about five weeks of programming, we separated into groups and implemented what we learned about web accessibility, Web design and robotics into socially conscious projects that can impact the world. My classmates and I created a project that encourages young Americans to and develop a consciousness about bills being passed in the Senate so they can gain the tools to look from diverse perspectives and become allies to marginalized people.
Not only did this program change my life, but it gave me an opportunity to give back to my community by helping start a Richmond, VA Based Girls Who Code club where I co-facilitate coding workshops hosted by Girls For A Change, a nonprofit organization that inspires Black girls and other girls of color to recognize their full potential through discovery, development and social change innovation. I used my programming skills to help a team of Black girls create the blog they wanted to launch that helps dismantle the negative portrayal of Black women and girls in the media.
Girls Who Code creates an environment that teaches girls to be uplifting of each other, and to strive for bravery, not perfection. To me, a computer scientist embodies kindness, resilience, and aspiration. Because of Girls Who Code, I grew as a person, a programmer, a risk taker, and as a problem solver.