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INDIANAPOLIS — Girls are coming together and building a better world with code.
That's the mission behind Brave Initiative, an organization that partners worldwide to introduce young women to coding and technology. Brave partners with local businesses, like KSM Consulting here in Indianapolis, to put on camps that build confidence and courage in girls ages 13 to 18. The week-long camp teaches problem-solving skills and empowers the campers in the technology world and beyond.
Taliah Borom is an Indy native and a student at Goshen College. Last summer, she was a camper at BraveCamp.
"Before BraveCamp, I had no clue where I wanted to go, what direction I wanted to take and now after BraveCamp and now doing my internship, I have a clear idea of what my goals are," Borom said.
During her time at camp she learned how to code a website. Borom picked an issue that is meaningful to her to represent on the website. She created an interactive quiz that allows users to uncover unconscious racial bias.
"So coming into BraveCamp, I didn't even know what coding is, so I actually am studying Spanish at Goshen College," Borom said. " Nothing to do with computer science. I didn't even really know what the term meant, and so I came into camp not really knowing what to expect."
And her time at camp became a commitment to helping other girls. This year Borom is back at BraveCamp as a staff member for her internship and she hopes to continue to work with the organization in the future.
"As I am learning more about the tech world, there are not a lot of young girls or women that look like me," Borom said. "There's actually a statistic that says 25 percent of the tech world are women and only 3 percent of that are African American, and 2 percent are Latina. And I think that's really important for me to be able to empower women who look like me and let them know that there's opportunities in the tech world for them in computer science and whatever they want to do. And even if they don't want to be a coder, to still be able to empower them and make a difference."
PHOTO GALLERY | Girls build a better world with code at BraveCamp
At BraveCamp, the young women pick a social issue that impacts them, they do research on a topic, conduct interviews, and utilize their creativity and design to create an interactive website to display this information.
Natalie Litera is the COO of KSM Consulting, partnering with Brave to put on this camp in Indy. She says the skills the girls learn at camp are ones to help them in the workplace.
"Really putting yourself in the shoes of someone else and being human-centric when you solve a problem," Litera said. "So these are absolutely skills that I think lots of organizations look for."
BraveCamp is also about allowing girls to visualize themselves in the tech world and realizing they have a place at the table in this industry.
"BraveCamp is all about empowering young women to view themselves as leaders both in technology and innovation," Litera said. "Giving these young ladies insight into the types of careers they could have in technology."
If you want to learn more about Brave Initiatives and the camps they conduct across the country, you can visit their website at https://www.braveinitiatives.com.