On Monday, October 21st, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and Susan G. Komen Greater Central & East Texas held a Code for the Cure Hackathon, capping a week of computer science. The week’s programming was designed to give ninth-grade engineering students hands-on coding experience, and ultimately increase the number of girls in STEM careers, with a focus on breast cancer awareness.
The Code for the Cure initiative was aimed to create conversation around diversity, access and equity as they apply to women in their careers and personal health journey. Participating students joined Vista Equity Partners, Google Cloud, and Susan G. Komen Greater CETX for the Hackathon, in which competitors had five hours to design an app, and were then awarded prizes in four categories.
“We know that STEM is where the greatest opportunities lie in our modern economy, yet women are consistently underrepresented in computer science and other STEM fields. That’s why we are committed to engaging girls in STEM throughout middle and high school,” said Kris Waugh, principal of the Ann Richards School. “This initiative exposed our students to the types of opportunities available to them in computer science, and its focus on women’s health made it a holistic and enriching experience.”
Code for the Cure showcased women leaders in the Technology and Healthcare industries, including professionals from Vista Equity Partners, an Austin-based investment firm that focuses exclusively on software, data, and technology-enabled businesses and Google Cloud’s Austin office. Both Vista and Google employees shared their own knowledge and expertise, leading workshops and mentoring students throughout the week.
“We were thrilled to partner with the Ann Richards School, Vista, and Google Cloud for this inspiring event,” said Suzanne Stone, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Greater CETX. “One of our most powerful tools for ensuring that women lead long, healthy lives is promoting early understanding of women’s health. This initiative, pairing computer coding with breast cancer awareness, is an innovative and impactful way to reach young women to not only think about their own health but also come up with solutions that will save lives in their families, communities and beyond.”
The event, presented in conjunction with Vista Equity Partners and Google Cloud, is a multi-day computer science program for young engineers.