Empoder

Inspiring the next generation of innovators and computer scientists

Empoder Girls Code

Story

Empoder Girls Code focuses on increasing the diversity pipeline in tech by engaging local underrepresented (girls, minorities and low-income) students from an early age through comprehensive high quality summer and year-round computer-science education (CSed) programs. We outreach to the local low-income community to actively recruit, engage and train students that have minimal exposure to tech and thus have not previously considered a career in computer-science. In this way, we are preparing a new generation of talent that will substantially increase and diversify the tech pipeline.

With support from a 2015 Google Rise Award, and through partnerships with school districts and local tech companies, we have implemented and piloted a pipeline of CSEd programs that have served over 210 students from Silicon Valley in 2015:

  • 95% of our students qualified for free or reduced lunch
  • 97% of our students are Hispanic
  • 96% of our high-school students are the 1st in their family to go to college

To effectively prepare students from nontraditional backgrounds for success in tech, we have developed and piloted a pipeline of programs that prepare students with a comprehensive foundation in computer-science from 6th-12th grade. These programs include:

  • Empower Girls through Code Summer Immersion Program (4-weeks for middle school students and 7-weeks for high-school students). Our flagship program is intended to engage students through projects in web and mobile app development, and programmable electronics (Arduino).
  • Empower Girls through Code Middle School Prep – (Year-round, meets weekly before school for 1.5 hours/week). We have developed a unique comprehensive 3-year curriculum that teaches computer programming and computer-science principles in a manner that complements middle school math curriculum and aligns with common core standards.
  • Empoder AP Computer Science Prep – (Year-round, meets twice a week in the evenings at a local tech company). In partnership with engineers from Google and Kahn Academy, we have developed a unique curriculum for preparing students to successfully take and pass the AP CS exam.
    • 100% of students from our pilot program plan to enroll in AP Computer-Science next year. This will increase the percentage of Hispanics in AP Computer Science at Los Altos High School from 1%  to 12% in one year.

Impact

After participating in our programs:

  • 92%-100% of students choose to study computer-science in school (compared to 8-12% of students before the program)
  • 96%-100% of students are more likely to choose a career in computer-science or engineering

Impact by the Numbers

95
% of our students qualified for free or reduced lunch
97
% of our students are Hispanic
96
% of our high-school students are the 1st in their family to go to college

Sights of Spring

“I never in a million years would have ever imagined I would be interested in something related to computers, much less computer programming! I hated computers and video games. But through this class I learned the beauty of writing code and all the things you can do with it. And now I find it fascinating! I love it! ”

Leo Gonzalez, 13 years old, Empoder Student