Google’s $150K grant supports Latina STEM education

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The day I received the invitation to become a Technolochicas mentor, my life changed. Technolochicas is a program of the Televisa Foundation, and encourages young Latina women, from ages 11 through 15, to pursue degrees and careers in computer science. As a new student at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Technolochicas reached out to me to see if I would be interested in helping to train young girls across Mexico in basic computer science concepts. I accepted the challenge — eager to give back and inspire the next generation of Latina women to pursue careers in technology, like me.

Since launching two years ago, Technolochicas has reached more than 19,410 girls in Mexico and graduated more than 1,000 junior developers to date. And the program’s impact will now expand into the United States. A $150,000 grant from the Grow with Google initiative will enable Technolochicas to train 1,000 more Latina girls in Houston, Los Angeles and Chicago, starting this fall.

Technolochicas represents a strong shift in society that positively impacts thousands of young Latinas across the country and now, the world. Students are provided with tools to design projects born from the creativity of young people, focused on themes like web development, application design, robotics and artificial intelligence. They also see and learn from many women in STEM careers so they can visualize themselves in these roles, too.

As much as I’m seeing the way this program is changing the lives of girls I’m working with, participating in this program has also changed my life. I discovered one of my greatest passions: teaching. As an instructor, I have had the opportunity to connect with many young girls, motivating them to choose the career of their dreams and to become lifelong learners. Beyond teaching, I can also create a safe environment where powerful networks between women can be built to inspire, motivate and unite the next generation of Latinas in technology.

This program has connected us beyond just exchanging information about computer science topics — it has connected us to a greater purpose of increasing the representation of Latina women in technology. With the help of Google, we’re bridging the gap to a brighter, more inclusive future — one line of code at a time.

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