Volunteering with Girls Who Code
Written by: Muniba Hassan
Volunteering with Girls Who Code has been one of the most enriching and edifying experiences of my time here at Akamai. I was chosen to serve as a mentor to one of the high school students, gave the NOCC tour during the Girls Who Code orientation, and also represented the NOCC in a women's career panel.
I was able to introduce the girls to Akamai during the tour of the NOCC. During the tour, they had very inquisitive and insightful questions from the very beginning, but it wasn't until I spent time with them one on one that I truly understood how bright and impressive these young women were.
I had the privilege of participating in the weekly mentoring sessions and workshops, during which time I learned about the amazing work the girls were doing both within and outside of the program. I was impressed by their work and passion, as they shared their experiences of spearheading STEM projects at their high schools, juggling school and family responsibilities, commuting hours to attend enrichment programs to advance their education and careers, and volunteering for political and social justice projects during their (not surprisingly) limited free time. I felt so honored to be part of their journey, even in this small way.
We discussed college and career planning, and I shared advice on how to apply for scholarships and how to assess programs that meet their passions and goals. We reviewed resumes and spoke about our experiences and often non-linear career paths that brought us into the tech sector. We supported each other as we shared stories of struggle and overcoming bullying and discrimination. I learned so much from these incredible young women.
At the program's graduation ceremony, I had the chance to see the girls' final projects and presentations. Their projects tackled social issues that the girls cared, using technology and the programming skills they learned throughout the program. They tackled issues such as gender pay gaps and cost utility models through the creation of apps, websites, and games. I was simultaneously brimming with pride, and taken aback from how much they were able to accomplish within such a short period of time (just one summer). I have no doubt these girls will continue to excel and achieve great things, wherever their futures lead them. I am so proud that we at Akamai got the change to host and participate in this amazing program and share in their success stories. ~ Muniba Hassan Platform OperationsTechnician Senor