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Liberty Foundation, EcoExploratorio launch 3rd Society of Women Coders’ scholars program

Nearly 100 girls have graduated from the NextGen Tech Scholars program since its inception in 2022.

Liberty Foundation is partnering once again with EcoExploratorio: Science Museum of Puerto Rico and Society of Women Coders to bring the third edition of its NextGen Tech Scholar Program for students in Puerto Rico. Nearly 100 girls have already graduated from this program since its first local edition held in 2022.

Most of the students were recruited by Liberty Foundation along with EcoExploratorio, a San Juan-based science museum that focuses on educational programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

“Part of our mission is to encourage girls and young women to study STEM disciplines, which include marine, aerospace and natural sciences, in addition to natural resources conservation. We are proud to partner with Liberty Foundation once again for this wonderful project,” said Jenny M. Guevara, executive director of EcoExploratorio Inc. “Initiatives like this can increase the number of young women choosing STEM careers, which will help empower them and close the gender gap in that field.”

The program is a 20-week online, afterschool technical training residency that focuses on coding and programming for local public middle and high school girls between the ages of 13 and 17. 

They participate in workshops that teach them skills such as task automation, data analysis, data visualization, digital literacy, website creation, and Python programming, which is commonly used for software development.

“We’re proud to support programs that promote equality and inclusion like this one,” said Eduardo Díaz-Corona, president of Liberty Foundation. “The technical and leadership skills that young women receive from Society of Women Coders allow them to break patterns that often keep them away from STEM careers, developing individual potential and broadening their professional horizons.”

Students also participate in mentoring sessions and have access to an online community of coders that they can contact to answer questions and “forge new allyships,” the news release reads. Classes take place every Thursday, with mentoring sessions on Saturdays.

“The young women in this program are learning about digital literacy and the basics of coding, both important to developing skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. It is a door-opening opportunity for them to follow a career in STEM, and even a first step on their education paths, like getting university scholarships,” stated Kavya Krishna, CEO of Society of Women Coders, on the program’s significance.

Liberty has donated more than $7 million to nearly 90 community organizations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1996, the news release added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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