“I want to learn how to build websites and my school doesn’t offer anything like that,” she said. “So, while my friends are on vacation, I’m learning how to code.”
The six-week class, offered by Queens Community House, takes place 20 hours per week and is a component of the Department of Youth & Community Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Rodriguez and her classmates are learning coding basics and how to build their own websites.
“The time is now to get young people, especially girls, interested in computer sciences,” said Gabriel Yiu, who teaches the class. “Over the next ten years, there are going to be so many more jobs in the field, and not nearly enough qualified graduates to fill them.”
The class, which is aimed at 14 and 15 year olds, allows students to explore computer science at an early age. According to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit which aims to increase the number of women in computer science, less than 25 percent of women will be represented in computer science fields by 2027.
“I’ve always known I wanted to build websites when I grow up,” Rodriguez said. “We had a coding club at school, but it ended when all the seniors graduated. Now that I know how to code, I’m going to try and start it up again.”