Alumna, Black Girls Code
It was not until the end of middle school that I developed a passion for technology. This happened by attending my first hackathon with Black Girls Code (BGC). During this experience, I learned how to develop a mobile app and program a robot. After that, I took a step forward by participating in an immersion program for a coding camp at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Introduction to the future
Later, in high school, I took several introductory programming courses as well as Advanced Placement Computer Science. These programs were life-changing experiences, and helped me develop my passion for technology, and my understanding that I could create anything. In particular, BGC has given me the space to be around people who look like me; that’s taught me that I, too, can make a difference in this world through coding.
My experiences with BGC and other coding programs helped me earn an internship with the organization, as well as a spot at Spelman College, where I will be studying computer information and sciences beginning in the fall of 2019. I chose a path in technology in part because I wanted to help close the gender and racial gaps in the industry. I want to be that person who helps pave the road for girls like me, who also want to change the industry; and though coding is not an easy task, I firmly believe that if you put your mind to things and work hard, you can create anything. The experience I had with BGC and the continuous support I receive from my family, friends, and mentors have inspired me to keep going.
Words of advice
The advice I have for other aspiring tech divas is to not give up, and to follow your dreams. If you are passionate about technology, keep doing it, because you never know where it may take you. There are a lot of fields that could use more women of color, and BGC is just one of the many organizations out there helping to reduce the disparity. It’s also important to remember that you should not be afraid of failing. There are many times that you will feel like giving up; use that feeling as a learning experience, and let it motivate you to persevere.
Programming makes it possible for me to express myself like nothing else can. My goal is to change the face of the technology industry by becoming a software engineer, a role model, and helping girls like me to make their own, signature impact. I plan to engineer the future, one experience at a time.
Zindzi Griffin, Alumna, Black Girls Code, [email protected]