#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · Hackathons · Technology · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Kailin Zhang and Sophie Maniscalco

Meet Kailin and Sophie, two NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award winners who also won first place as a team at Globalhack VII, a hackathon aimed at creating programs to positively reshape the experiences of foreign-born individuals and communities. They have also been featured on Kode with Klossy’s newsletter and social media! Learn more about the journey of these Super Girls! 

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi, we’re Kailin Zhang and Sophie Maniscalco! We’re two high school friends who founded Supergirls Code, an organization empowering girls by teaching them how to code. Supergirls Code has spread across the country, teaching and engaging girls in the possibilities through code. By teaching girls that they have a place in the STEM environment, and showing them coding is interactive, creative, and fun, we aspire to build up generations of girls who are supported by their peers and advisers.  

What hashtag (#) describes you/defines your life goals or life journey?
#girlpower #steminist

What are your favorite websites, apps, or other tech tools?
We love Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter because it allows us to connect with the community and reach out to girls interested in joining our organization. 

Who is someone who inspires you? What knowledge has this person imparted?
Karlie Kloss! We are so inspired by her and are grateful to her for providing the opportunity for girls to learn about computer science through Kode with Klossy, none of this would’ve been possible without our experience through Kode with Klossy!

What song makes you want to dance, gives you courage to face the day, or makes you feel strong?
“Who Says” by Selena Gomez 

Describe a challenge you faced or a crossroads in your life that defined your path.
We met through Kode with Klossy, a summer camp founded by Karlie Kloss to teach girls to code. After Kode with Klossy ended, we wanted to learn more coding skills and began to look around our city, St. Louis, for opportunities. While we found a few opportunities, such as our high schools’ robotics teams, Built By Girls, various hackathons, and classes at their schools, we could not find an after-school club just for girls to learn how to code. After this, we realized that other girls must experience the same issues and that it must be even more difficult for younger girls to find coding opportunities geared towards girls. This issue especially stuck out to us because of the fact that young girls tend to be extremely interested in computer science and coding, but once they reach middle school and high school these interests decrease because of the limited opportunities and support available for them to learn how to code. We really hope to encourage younger girls to pursue their interests and build confidence within themselves, whether or not they choose to pursue computer science. 

Describe your ideal job.
Our ideal jobs would be jobs that we are passionate about and create a positive impact on the world around us. We are both interested in computer science and fashion. Sophie is also interested in political science and Kailin is interested in journalism!

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Believe in yourself – you can do whatever you set your mind to! 

Learn more about Supergirls Code: supergirlscode.org
Follow them on Insta, Twitter and FB: @supergirlscode

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