In light of some deeply troubling times that have persisted in our neck of the woods, I’m absolutely delighted to share a bit of positive news with all of you. Did you hear that Girls Make Games — an international organization committed to providing young girls with access to game development workshops — just got to visit the White House? Heck yeah.
It’s part of the Obama Administration’s Computer Science For All initiative, which provides American students with the skills necessary to succeed in the rapidly expanding digital landscape. That includes game development, and who better to consult for assistance than the bright minds of young girls?
Twenty very lucky participants between the ages of 11 and 14 headed to the White House on December 7, 2016 for a two-hour intensive workshop. We’ve got a ton of uplifting pictures to share from the event, and even a super adorable tweet straight from Ruthe Farmer, the White House Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion.
We’ll not only be sharing more about this lovely story, but also the names of similar organizations that you might be interested in applying to or supporting! Let’s keep this message of positivity and inclusion going, shall we?
Laila Shabir, the CEO and founder of Girls Make Games, had this to say about the big day:
“Participants learned the fundamentals of game development through interactive lectures and hands-on coding. At the end of the one-day workshop, each participant received a playable game prototype, a certificate of completion from GMG, as well as resources on how to continue coding their game.”
The event was, of course, a smashing success. Girls Make Games also retweeted quite a few people who attended, so I’d recommend that you give them a follow for more. Here are some of the pictures Laila sent along to us! We’re so excited for them.
Not only that, but Code.org — another fantastic organization working to encourage more students to pursue computer science — also got a chance to send young people from their program to the White House. You can watch a snippet of the “Hour of Code” event where President Obama bestows a few words of wisdom upon his very distinguished and talented guests. Most importantly? “We’re gonna make sure that every young person in America — particularly young women, who are underrepresented in STEM fields, and [marginalized folks] — we want to make sure they get in on the fun.”
And with that! Here’s a list of similar organizations that we highly recommend you check out. Ready to make a difference? You can volunteer, donate, or simply boost the efforts of these wonderful teams working so hard to bring diversity to tech. As always, if there are any we missed, please let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to add them ASAP.