Our New High School Code Camp

An in-house immersion program for San Francisco students

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Written by vanessa slavich.

Two years ago, we learned only 1% of high school girls believed coding would be part of their educational or professional future. We wanted to encourage more young women to pursue STEM and launched High School Code Camp, an eight-month, after-school program designed to prepare young women in San Francisco for the AP Computer Science exam. Square engineers built the computer science curriculum, and over the school year helped the young women create through code — all while breaking any preconceived notions they had about programming.

Before High School Code Camp, I never imagined myself pursuing computer science in college. I felt like I had to be some kind of math prodigy to code, and I let this feeling keep me from learning.* — Michelle Nguyen, a freshman at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Computer Science*

Since then, many of our engineers began teaching local students in the classroom through programs like TEALS and Girls Who Code Clubs. So we’re evolving our in-house program into a week-long camp that focuses on real-world exposure into careers in technology and encourages students to stay curious about the field of engineering.

We’re opening our second High School Code Camp to young men and women in San Francisco, and will select a diverse group of students that represents what the future of tech should look like. The camp will take place March 30 — April 3, and participants will attend hands-on coding workshops (taught by Square engineers), mentorship sessions, career panels, and tour tech companies. They’ll also meet with Square’s inspiring executives, including CFO Sarah Friar, Engineering Lead Alyssa Henry, and CEO Jack Dorsey.

High school students can submit short essays online about why they’d like to be part of the program at squareup.com/code-camp/high-school-code-camp until February 20. Twenty participants will be selected.

vanessa slavich - Profile Diversity & Triathlonsmedium.com Square Code Camp Alumnae stories and experiencesmedium.com