Thank you to WKYT for highlighting a program I’ve been honored to participate in. Read the full article here. The Kentucky Commission on Women recently hired me to develop and facilitate several coding and entrepreneurship courses throughout local middle schools as part of the Kentucky Lt. Governor’s STEM Challenge for Girls. Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor at the time, Jenean Hampton, was a former engineer who was deeply passionate about supporting other young girls to join the profession. The courses were created and delivered to girls at Fayette County middle schools, in working-class areas, including the very same middle school I attended when I learned to code as a teenage girl. Back then, we didn’t have coding classes in the state of Kentucky, so I had to teach myself to code after finishing my homework in the evenings. I was privileged to have a computer and an internet connection; not all students have these resources. Our goal with these courses was to make it easier for Kentucky’s preteen and teenage girls to learn skills in coding and entrepreneurship so that they could transition into successful technology careers.

Many of these schools serve underprivileged youths and communities that are broadly untapped for careers in the STEM fields. (In addition to becoming an engineer and politician, Hampton herself is also the first Black person to hold a statewide office in Kentucky’s history, and only the third Black woman to have served as a lieutenant governor in any U.S. state.)

The goals of the Kentucky Commission on Women were to improve the status of women and girls in Kentucky by providing education and employment and supporting entrepreneurship, health, and well-being. I was grateful to participate in their programs, which aimed at educating the public.