GirlsWhoCode "Being a girl who is interested in technology means I'm breaking boundaries. I'm proud of that." - Fleurianne Debe (GWC graduate) Atlanta, Georgia, 22 August 2017 | 12:03 AM America/Chicago Girl Power Cracks the Code Watch out World! STEM + Teen Spirit (and summer school) = Formula for Female Success Fleurianne Debe just started her senior year of high school, but unlike most students her age - she already graduated. Here’s the catch: “This ceremony wasn’t with my peers at North Atlanta High School,” Fleurianne smiled. “In fact, I didn’t even wear a cap and gown!” Instead, on July 20, 2017, the 17-year-old celebrated her graduation, and an educational milestone, with the Girls Who Code and State Farm Insurance. “It's awesome,” said Fleurianne. “I learned about science, technology engineering and math. My mom told me about this special program and I enrolled because I’m really into gaming. It was right up my alley!” Girls Who Code (GWC), is a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Its summer immersion program helps young women like Fleurianne develop their STEM skills. By the Year 2020... ...1.4 million jobs will be available in computing related fields. U.S. graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill 3% of those jobs. Girls Who Code is working to change that. “Technology is changing everything about the way we live and work,” said Girls Who Code Founder and CEO, Reshma Saujani. “Computing jobs are some of the fastest-growing and highest paying in our country, yet girls continue to get left behind. Access to a computer science education can bring women into a thriving innovation economy.”The Journey BeginsFleurianne, along with 19 students, took part in the summer GWC program in Atlanta, Georgia. Hosted by State Farm, the seven-week course helps teens develop their technological skills, learn about STEM careers and meet with women working in the tech industry.“The chance to be mentored by these professionals meant a lot to me. This entire experience helped my self-confidence grow,” smiled Fleurianne. “I discovered so much about systems, IT and coding.” Interactive Learning The Girls Who Code get a lesson in robotics. Interactive Learning The Girls Who Code get a lesson in robotics at Georgia Tech Robotics Lab. Working together Teamwork activities are a large part of the GWC summer immersion program. Working in Pairs Girls Who Code Program Instructors say this year’s GWC participants demonstrated teamwork and a commitment to excellence. Throughout the summer, students also learned how to construct webpages, build apps, develop a social media network and even work with robots.“I loved the hands-on tech exposure,” smiled Fleurianne. “Now, I can code. And the best part? Now I can show other girls how to do it too.” 93 Percent 93% of Girls Who Code summer immersion participants say the program inspired them to major in and/or learn more about computer science. Program Instructors like Kat Graff say this year’s GWC participants demonstrated teamwork and a commitment to excellence.“When they arrived on the State Farm campus, many of them didn’t have any coding experience. But you’d never know that now. I’m confident great things lie ahead for these young women.” For companies like State Farm, it’s a chance to deliver on the company’s commitment to empowering communities. “We make significant contributions to STEM education and women in technology efforts at the company level,” said State Farm IT Senior Vice President Sandy Arnold. “This program had an even bigger impact because our State Farm employees personally invested in these students. Seeing the positive results first-hand was so inspiring.” Lunch, Laughs and Learning Many friendships formed during the seven week Girls Who Code summer immersion program. In class Student Fleurianne Debe focuses on STEM. Interactive Learning The Girls Who Code get a lesson in robotics. At work Students stay focused on their STEM studies. The Adventure Continues“I learned anything is possible if I put my mind to it,” said Fleurianne. “Because of GWC, I want to pursue a computer science degree in college.”Before then, she needs to complete her senior year. But Fleurianne plans to take Girls Who Code with her.“I want to create a Girls Who Code club at my high school,” she explained. “Being a young woman who is interested in technology makes me feel like I’m breaking boundaries, and that’s really cool. Now, I want to help others like me do the same thing.”As for her long term goal? Being part of the good neighbor community could be in sight.“When the time comes, I’d love to be a State Farm intern,” said Fleurianne. “I want to continue building my knowledge and creativity. Thanks to GWC, my journey has just begun!”State Farm is a financial supporter of Girls Who Code and its commitment to STEM education. To learn more about its programs and ways to get involved, click here. Interested in learning about STEM partnerships in Atlanta, Georgia? Contact State Farm IT Analyst, Katrina Torres (firstname.lastname@example.org).GWC Graduation Recap Learning Together Students and leaders enjoy a presentation at the GWC graduation. Forming Friendships Girls Who Code participants chat at the ceremony. On the red carpet! Girls Who Code classroom instructors take time out for a quick picture on graduation night. Celebrating Friendships The seven week Girls Who Code program fostered a love of learning and new connections. Words of Wisdom State Farm IT Senior Vice President Sandy Arnold addresses the graduates at the Girls Who Code commencement. Good Neighbors Come Together! The State Farm Good Neigh Bear made a special appearance at the Girls Who Code graduation celebration! Making Memories State Farm employee mentors created strong relationship with the Girls Who Code participants in Atlanta, Georgia. Gathering Together The Girls Who Code and State Farm IT Senior Vice President Sandy Arnold celebrate success at the 2017 GWC graduation. On the red carpet! Girls Who Code graduates take time out for a quick picture on graduation night.