Across all industries, computational thinking is becoming as important a skill set as numeracy and literacy. To prepare our children for the jobs of the future, we need computer science education both in and out of school. Despite making up half of our K-12 student population and nearly 60% of college enrollments, girls and women are far less likely than boys and men to study computing and earn degrees and careers in related fields.
The founders of HowGirlsCode saw the statistics as an opportunity. Together, they used their shared passion for improving educational opportunities for girls to develop an after-school computer science class. The weekly sessions included “unplugged” games, block programming activities, and a guest speaker series that gave the girls inspiration and information about the varied careers in which computer science plays a role. HowGirlsCode later added a summer camp program to provide even more access to girls interested in coding and robotics. In just three years, HowGirlsCode held 50 after-school courses and 5 summer camp sessions, educating and engaging more than 800 girls in computer science.
With the dedication of our instructors, passion of our volunteers, involvement of our partners and support of our generous donors, HowGirlsCode continues to encourage elementary-age girls to see a place for themselves in the world of computer science, and to see a place for computer science in their worlds.
Dr. Marsha Koger serves as the executive director of HowGirlsCode. Dr. Koger has been improving organizational bottom lines for more than 20 years. Most recently Dr. Koger was the administrator for a health care magnet program in Baltimore County Public Schools. While in this role, she worked with the students on designing a health care APP that won the 2018 Congressional APP Challenge. As a result of this award, the all-girls APP development team members were honored and recognized in a special ceremony on Capitol Hill. She brings 20 years of fund development experience to the position, and has served as director of development for a university, private school, an arts organization, a hospital, and several other non-profits. She has raised a minimum of $1 million a year for each of the organizations she has worked with. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore, where she teaches nonprofit management and fund development.
Additionally, Dr. Koger has more than 20 years of communications experience having worked for the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Community College of Baltimore County, and various elected officials throughout the State of Maryland.
Dr. Koger received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Swarthmore College, her master’s degree from the University of Baltimore, and a doctorate degree in higher education from Morgan State University.
Board of Directors
President: Zane Williams, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company
Vice President: Emily Brown, JHU APL
Secretary: Rachel Cohen, JHU APL
Treasurer: Alyssa Brouse, T. Rowe Price
Director: Kelly Anne Johnson, Print and Web Designer, IMPAQ