As we both started taking computer science courses, something we always noticed was the fact that we were always the only Latinas in the classroom. Instead of waiting around for this change, we decide to be the change we wanted to see through the creation of Code Equal.
Code Equal is a nonprofit that provides free CS courses, mentors, workshops, hackathons, and the tools self-identifying girls and underrepresented minorities need to enter CS fields with the confidence and knowledge to succeed.
To start out, we created two new computer science courses to be offered at our local library, the Princeton Public Library. One course is called Girl Code, which is geared towards 4th-8th grade self-identifying girls, with the hopes that they take an interest in and pursue other computer science classes when reaching high school. The second course is called Code It, and it is gender inclusive.
The response has been incredible, with both courses being overbooked! Initially the courses were only going to be in the fall of its first year, but with so much demand, we expanded to full year courses. Now, we offer summer camps, workshops, hackathons, and courses all year around. Additionally we now offer beginner and intermediate level classes! To date we have reached over 1,000 students!
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in our journey!
Valeria & Kyara Torres-Olivares
CODE EQUAL Co-Founders