There was no shortage of ‘girl power’ at Amazon’s Meeting Center during the Girls Who Code Graduation Ceremony. “Give us a chance and don’t hold us back – we’ll show you what it means to do something ‘like a girl,’” said Sieren Kim, one of the class speakers, to a room filled with proud friends, family, and Amazon mentors.

During the Graduation Ceremony, the young coders heard from Maria Renz, Amazon Vice President and Technical Advisor to Jeff Bezos. Maria challenged the newly minted Girls Who Code alumni to pursue “and” not “or” decisions. “You can be a girl and a coder,” she said. “Stand tall and focus on your goals.”

You can be a girl and a coder. Stand tall and focus on your goals.
Maria Renz

Additionally, the girls got to unveil their final projects. From a color recognizing robot to a self-confidence boosting website, all of the final projects were creative and impressive.

“She was excited throughout the entire 7 weeks,” said Todd Jenne of his daughter Lauryn. “This opened her eyes to all of the different opportunities that are out there.” Binh Phu said she was very proud of her sister, Phung. “Every day she would come home and show us what she learned,” she explained. Gabby Stevens, a Senior Marketing Manager with Amazon Smile attended Graduation to support her mentee, Annabell Lee. “It’s super exciting to see girls who are interested in tech,” she said.

The Girls Who Code teachers reminded their “super smart sisters” this was just the beginning of their success. “It was fun to wear the Amazon badge and to go to work at Amazon,” said Tanvi Mane, one of the class speakers. “Now I am sure computer is science is what I want to pursue.” Maria Renz reassured these young women, “Amazon is always looking for young, talented, smart women like you.”