Bringing More Women Into Tech

One of the biggest goals of the VISTA Code Corps program is to give kids who would be less likely to participate in computer science, including girls, a chance to start working with CS. In my time as a VISTA, I’ve had the privilege of attending a few different trainings on including girls in computer science as well as STEM. Here is some of what I’ve learned.
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Let Kids Lead: CS First Members as Advocates and Program Assistants

I’m reposting this from my personal blog I recently started, CS in the Clubhouse. It was originally posted August 19th.

The Goal: Kids as Leaders

One of the primary goals of the Boys & Girls Club movement is to foster leadership skills and self-confidence in our members. Each of our programs is targeted at one or more of our five Core Program Areas: The Arts; Character and Leadership; Sports, Fitness and Recreation; Health and Life Skills; and Education and Career. Our experience with CS First has been exciting because, in running the program, we have found that kids are sharing with each other and finding the confidence to become leaders in the group.
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The Same Page: Getting the Organization Working Together

I’m reposting this from my blog I started a little while ago, CS in the Clubhouse. It was originally posted July 24th.

Looking Back on the CS First Rollout

CS First has now been running at Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland for 4 weeks. In that time, we’ve seen some major successes in the program and some notable hurdles. Apart from technical issues and difficulties with having a large number of volunteers in place for a new program with short notice, we’ve had some challenges with implementing the program according to our vision.

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Aliza in Portland


Hello! My name is Aliza and I am serving a year as a VISTA Code Corps member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of such an amazing team. My background is in nonprofits and I have become passionate about finding opportunities for low-income and minority youth to get involved in STEM. This most likely developed from growing up in a family of social workers and engineers. I am particularly excited to work with volunteers, do community outreach, and learn how to code! In the future, I would love to learn how to program and utilize technology to serve the community (nonprofits, education, or healthcare). It has been a great experience so far and I am excited to see how the rest of the year unfolds.

About Dave

Picture of Dave, the author of this post
Dave Kiesel-Nield is a Code Corps VISTA serving in Portland, OR.

Hello, my name is Dave Kiesel-Nield. I am a native of Washington State and studied Geology at Central Washington University. I moved to Portland in 2011 and became involved with the Boys & Girls Club movement in 2012. I worked as a program staff, mostly delivering STEM programs to youth at several Clubhouses for a few years.

I am very excited to be a part of Code Corps because fighting poverty and helping kids learn about STEM subjects are two causes that are very close to my heart. I am looking forward to being able to help Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland develop its tech infrastructure and build a strong, sustainable tech program that will help youth, especially those who would otherwise have a much lower chance of doing so, succeed in STEM fields and especially technology.