For seven weeks this summer, three Amazon locations — Seattle, Sunnyvale, and New York — hosted Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program classrooms. In each of these classrooms, Girls Who Code students learned computer science through real-world projects in art and storytelling, robotics, video games, websites, apps and more. During the Girls Who Code graduation ceremonies, the students presented their final projects and heard from Amazon executives.
Sharon Chiarella, VP of Social Shopping, addressed the graduates in Seattle. “Whether you want to build environmentally sustainable housing, design a fashion line, or cure cancer, technology will be a key part of your work,” she said. “So, understanding how you can leverage technology — and better yet, knowing how to invent technology — will be a critical life skill.”
Miriam Daniel, Director of Alexa Product Management, spoke to the graduates in Sunnyvale. “As you enter the world of coding, you will face numerous first-time challenges,” she said. “Question everything, raise your hand when you see an opportunity, and get your hands dirty. Let your curiosity guide you.”
In New York, the evening kicked off with speeches from several of the students. They spoke about the importance of having strong female representation in the STEM fields and the significance of the Girls Who Code program supporting that initiative. One prominent theme that arose throughout the night was a piece of advice given from the teachers: “To keep trying different things because there isn’t a single right answer.” As the students learned from the various speakers and mentoring events throughout the program, this advice not only applies to debugging and troubleshooting code, but also to career paths.
Amazonians will miss seeing the Girls Who Code students on campus, but we look forward to hosting the program again next year! To learn more about diversity initiatives at Amazon, visit amazon.jobs/diversity.