Capital Times
Dec 6, 2016

Girls and students of color are gaining the technical programming skills and experiences they need to become innovators and technology leaders with Maydm, a Madison-based nonprofit. Through passionate instructors, creative minds, exciting workshops and semester-long programs, we teach third-through-12th-grade students programming and computer science fundamentals, while instilling the confidence in fun and creative ways. We integrate mentorship, exposure and internship opportunities, empowering students toward bold futures in technology.

Now Maydm turns 1! The best celebrations are the ones where growth is evident in the stature of those you support. In the past year we’ve had the privilege of working with phenomenal students and companies who share the vision that diversity in tech is the future.

We’ve seen achievements by girls like the Egwuonwu sisters, who won Code Madison Forward by designing and developing a business concept and brochure website in under two hours with little-to-no prior programming experience. And the young engineers who built and programmed fashionable tech wristbands with Arduino and conductive thread as part of our summer program.

Our students have inspired us with their goals of becoming software engineers, animators, video game developers, hardware engineers, computer designers, even data systems managers! These are students who know they are the future of technology.

“It was wonderful to help such a diverse group of teens explore entrepreneurship and programming; their excitement was infectious, and we can’t wait to see what they do next!” writes Hilary Stohs-Kraus, Ten Forward staff, regarding the students at that event.

These students are challenging the male-dominated rhetoric of the tech landscape. “Their excitement was infectious” is an understatement. Their energy is invigorating. They are a talented, diverse wave of young women and people of color experimenting with technology in unique ways, a wave that developers everywhere should welcome. Leaders like Laurie Benson (Inacom Information Systems co-founder) Susan Wojcicki (CEO of Youtube) and April Underwood (VP of Slack) exemplify what is possible for girls today.

To celebrate our anniversary we’re excited to launch #itsinhercode, a celebration of the power of women: a movement to elevate one another, to embrace the ambition, tenacity, and creativity of women who are building software that is changing the world. (See sidebar for information on our Dec. 10 Girls Coding Day event at the Madison Public Library.)

So why #itsinhercode? Because the future is in her code, and girls in Dane County, Milwaukee, and around the world deserve to know that. Maydm is making that happen. We invite you to invest in the lives of these students. Become a mentor, give a student scholarship, get your company engaged, and join us in promoting the remarkable work of women in technology.

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