December 19, 2013 - by Angie

Supporting High School Girls Who Build Android Apps For Technovation Challenge

Last week, we invited software engineers Mary Ann Jawili, Sukrutha Raman Bhadouria and Meggie Mahnken to speak to the high school girls from Technovation about how they got into programming.By Angie Chang (Director of Growth, Hackbright Academy)

Hackbright Academy is a proud supporter of Technovation Challenge, a global technology entrepreneurship program for girls.

We host meetings for Technovation's Student Ambassadors here at Hackbright Academy.

Last week, we invited software engineers Mary Ann Jawili, Sukrutha Raman Bhadouria and Meggie Mahnken to speak to the high school girls about how they got into programming.

Mary Ann talked about failing her AP Computer Science test (with a score of 1 out of 5) and then going on to major in computer science at USC. She now works at Hotwire as a web developer. Mary Ann encouraged the girls to keep trying even in the face of failure, and talked about winning her first hackathon - the Chime for Change hackathon hosted at Twitter recently!

Sukrutha talked about growing up in India and studying engineering at USC. She talked about being active in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) during college, and her current role at Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners. Sukrutha made the case for her current role as a senior software engineer in test, explaining that writing code that is the first customer of a product - that tests the product - is super fun and interesting.

Meggie talked about graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in gender studies, and going on to discover her love for coding after college. She is now a software engineer at Hackbright Academy, and talks about how it's never too late to get started in programming.

Pictured: Last week's Technovation Student Ambassador meeting at Hackbright Academy with speakers Mary Ann Jawili and Sukrutha (pictured, top right) and Meggie Mahnken.

What We Learned From High School Girls Building Apps

The girls really appreciate their mentors! Two girls mentioned visiting Airbnb (where their Technovation mentor works) and being inspired by the Airbnb office. Now these girls are eager to work at a tech company, like Airbnb, and to get more of their friends involved in technology!

High school students don't know what the inside of tech companies looks like, nor do they have many opportunities to meet software engineers who share their personal stories and career journeys.

Providing opportunities for the high school girls to come into your tech company or startup for lunch, to get a tour and get to interact with some of the faces of the startup staff is invaluable.

Get Involved as a Mentor to High School Girls!

Get involved with Technovation as a mentor in 2014!

No technical or app development experience is necessary to become a mentor for Technvoation.

Mentors work with a team of girls to guide them through each week of Technovation’s 12-week curriculum. Girls see their mentors as role models and look to them for guidance on how to overcome obstacles and solve problems when working on challenging projects. Some choose to work in teams of two and may choose to alternate attendance from one week to the next.


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