Kimberly Bryant is an electrical engineer who has worked in the biotechnology field at Genentech, Novartis, and Merck, among others.
She founded Black Girls Code in 2011, in the hopes of providing technology education to African-American girls ages 7-17. Currently, black women make up only 3 percent of the computing profession. Black Girls Code works to provide young and pre-teen girls of color with opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up; helping a new generation of coders, who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.
Bryant founded Black Girls Code after her daughter expressed an interest in learning computer programming, and none of the available courses in the Bay Area were well suited for her since the classes were mostly boys, and rarely had other African American girls attending. Having experienced isolation herself during her time studying and working, she wanted a better environment for her daughter.
Black Girls Code teaches computer programming to school age girls in after school and summer programs. The San Francisco based nonprofit organization has a goal of teaching one million black girls to code by 2040. The organization already has trained 3,000 girls in seven chapters in cities in the United States, and has one chapter in South Africa, with plans to add chapters in eight more cities.
Learn more about Bryant's story by watching her exclusive "Be The Hero" video above.
Photo Credit: Getty Images, Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives - Jerry Southwood Collection, Black Girls Code