Coding camp helps young girls learn valuable skills – at no cost

If you know how to do computer coding, you are in hot demand in our plugged in world. But women are lagging in this field and make up less than 25 percent of the jobs.

In addition, getting trained in computer coding is pricey with courses averaging around $11,000.

Now three women are setting out to "flip the script” by designing a coding camp just for girls and at no cost.

Jen Kamins was working as a recruiter in the tech industry when she realized just how hard it was to find female candidates.

“(I was) frustrated at the lack of women and people of color even though our employers were asking us to hire in that direction," she says.

That was the beginning of what is now called “Brave Initiatives,” a series of coding camps strictly for girls and supported solely by donations from big tech firms like Apple.

The girls come in with no background in coding and most don't even understand what it really means.  But within a week they are navigating, creating code and building their own websites like pros.

"When I started doing the workshop, I started thinking, maybe I could do this as a career.  I started thinking about it more and more,” says camper Nyla Green.

Nyla is only 12. So when she came home after a week of coding camp and showed her parents the website she created, her mom Yolanda flipped.

"I couldn't believe it,” she says. “I said, ‘What?!! Put your phone down. Let's pull it up on the laptop.’   And she's over my shoulder saying ‘I did that. I did that. I did that.’ I was overjoyed. The tears just started rolling."

The girls learn not just coding, but how to use their own ideas to create something they personally care about.

The two year program has been such a success that they are adding advanced courses and special training for creating apps as well.