Facilitator Spotlight - Girls Who Code

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“Being a Latina in STEM means being strong, smart, and hardworking. As a Hispanic woman, it is easy for people to underestimate you and assume you are inferior to your peers,” said Claudia Aguirre.

For the Fall 2019 semester, Claudia volunteered her time to lead a Girls Who Code club at DCP Alum Rock Middle School every Thursday afternoon. Her passion for Latina empowerment and background in STEM led her to take on the facilitator role in East San Jose.

Claudia is no stranger to being a Latina in STEM. She is currently studying Statistics at San Jose State University and expects to graduate Spring of 2021. After graduation, Claudia dreams of being a sports data analyst for ESPN. 

Throughout the club, Claudia followed the Girls Who Code curriculum in order to make coding fun and interactive. Every week, the girls also watched a “Women in Tech Spotlight” in which they learned about how real-life women use coding in new and innovative ways. 

As a part of the club, a group of 20 girls were able to create their own coding projects and let their creative side thrive. They also had the chance to learn from Claudia what it means to be living and breathing STEM every day as a student. 

For Claudia, her family encourages her to continue pursuing her major in Statistics. “My parents have done so much for me, and I would like to be able to make the most of my education and give back to them as much as I can,” said Claudia. 

The value of family transcends her own educational journey as it has allowed her to look beyond herself and volunteer her time as a facilitator.  

“I see myself and my family members in a lot of these girls, and I want them to take advantage of every opportunity they get. I want them to know how important a good education is and take in as much information as they can in order to make the best decision for their own lives,” said Claudia. 

Claudia’s favorite part of being a facilitator is working with young students and discussing their educational journeys, and being able to relate her own experiences to their goals. 

When asked what advice she would give other Latinas thinking of pursuing STEM, Claudia said “Go for it! You never know what you are capable of until you go out and try it. Every course you complete comes with a great sigh of relief and a huge sense of accomplishment.”

Girls Who Code is a program sponsored by the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. This quarter HFSV is supporting three Girls Who Code classes at three Public Schools serving close to 60 middle school girls. To learn more about this and other STEM programs offered by the foundation click here.