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Women in Tech: Our Inaugural “Girls Who Code” Program Hones Next Gen Technologists

This summer, Turner welcomed 20 high school juniors and seniors to our campus for our Girls Who Code (GWC) flagship Summer Immersion Program --  a 7-week computer science program designed to equip young women with tools they need to thrive as the next generation of innovators, leaders and technologists. Hosted at our Techwood Campus in Atlanta, the program participants celebrated at their graduation ceremony last week. 

In addition to lessons in computer science, robotics, storytelling and website development, they heard from expert guest speakers and met with members of Ladies in Tech at Turner (LiTT) to discuss future career opportunities. They also participated in Cartoon Network coding workshops, received a behind-the-scenes CNN tour and visited Georgia Tech’s tech business incubator.

The participants were given a final project, and the group of 20 was divided into four teams. Each student assumed a product development role, including project manager, designer, back-end developer, and CEO. As a condition for program completion each team presented the website they were required to build. The sites included:

  • An online chat forum that supports fan communities (e.g. a place where Harry Potter fans can connect)
  • A social media site dedicated to memes
  • An online community where teens can communicate with each other and discuss everyday struggles
  • A site that guesses your zodiac sign by asking the user questions

All of the participants considered the program “a wonderful experience.” They expressed a deep appreciation for each other, the friendships they have formed and their delight in learning in a fun, supportive atmosphere. According to one participant, “If I had a dime for every time we laughed, I would be semi-rich.”

As a result, many of them are excited about technology as a possible career.

Lacarra (LaLa) Murgerson aspires to one day become a manager in technology. She said this program “has given me a life changing experience that will help me expand my career choices for my future.”

Alexandra (Lexi) Hamilton who would like to become an applications developer and designer said, “The program will change your life and make you think about your future. I discussed how I wanted to be both a developer and designer with people [experienced technologists] I met through the program, and learned that though it might not be typical to do both, it is possible.”

Turner Chief Technology Officer Jeremy Legg addressed the group at their graduation and advised the young technologists - "Keep at it! We were delighted to host you and help you learn and explore the possibilities of a career in tech. More importantly, and selfishly, we hope you come back to Turner after you graduate college…”

Find out more about Turner’s efforts in this area.