Article by: Liam R.
Edited by: Woosuk K.
Visual by: Cathy T. and Rhia M.
Many ISM students have taken it upon themselves to create their own service clubs, which are not part of the service clubs organized by ISM, in order to give back to the community in their own unique way. This week, Bamboo Telegraph caught up with Girls Will Code, an organization founded by sophomore Isabel S. Girls Will Code’s mission is to “provide and promote activities that close the gender gap in tech, beginning in the Philippines by encouraging young girls to participate to code” (Girls Will Code), while their vision is that “every girl has an opportunity to learn how to code.”
All of the Girls Will Code members are looking for an opportunity to code outside of a discipline which has historically maintained a masculine culture. Freshman Tia K. is excited to “close the gender gap in tech” by “encouraging young girls in the Philippines to participate in coding.” Their biggest project was called Girls Forward 18, where she excitedly recounted how “[she] was able to share [her] experience in coding with other girls.” For Tia, “seeing so many young girls turn up to the event intrigued and ready to learn coding was a success itself!”
Sophomore Martina Y. was similarly psyched about their success in planning and hosting Girls Forward 18. When reflecting on her initial interest in the club, she ultimately wanted to learn more about coding. However, she also had feelings aligned with the mission of Girls Will Code as she wanted to “support the feminist movement within STEM and contribute to propagating the importance of females in the field.”
Girls Will Code still has many plans for the future. Isabel S. revealed that Girls Forward 19 will take place in March 2019. They hope to repeat their success of having “50+ girls from 10+ different schools” be able “to learn to code and meet like-minded girls.” She eagerly described the prospect of “workshop-style activities” which would allow people to participate more. They also plan to go on a lot of smaller service trips, where Isabel explained that they “teach girls the basics of coding and give teachers the resources to teach programming.” Isabel also mentioned that they “will be selling cotton candy, STEM themed stickers and Girls Will Code coding kits” at the Battle of the Bands (BOB) to fundraise for coding and STEM,” in order to support local schools and their own events.
This organization is a great example of how people can follow their passion and fight for a very relevant cause within it. Isabel expressed that one of the initial reasons she started this club was because she was ”encountering problems or bugs with [her] code,” and when she asked her parents and sisters about it, “they had no idea what coding really was.” These students have been able to interact with other girls all over the Philippines in order to have an impact on the future of STEM around the country. They hope to remove the stigma against women working in fields like coding in order to allow for more great minds to participate in developing new technologies.
“What Is Girls Will Code?” Girls Will Code, GIRLS WILL CODE, 2017, http://www.girlswillcode.com/.