by Cayce Hill
In January 2017, the Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board launched its first Girls Who Code (GWC) clubs in the Coos Bay/North Bend area. In case you haven’t heard of GWC, Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to alleviate the massive gender gap in the computer science industry by providing 6th to 12th grade girls with opportunities to engage in computer science. One of the ways that GWC does this is through the creation of GWC clubs. GWC clubs are a fun, safe and friendly environment for teen girls to immerse themselves in computer science applications. Each group is led through the computer science curriculum by a group facilitator, who helps participants with questions that they have and also works to build cohesiveness between club members. To bring this program to the local area, SOWIB applied for several grants in order to start the clubs in the Coos and Curry county areas. So far, SOWIB Youth Liaison Cayce Hill has raised a total of $9,250 in grant funds from the Jordan Cove Energy Project, Walmart and Umpqua Bank.