Staff Member Designs Coding Course for Underprivileged Women in Peru

Bianca Gandolfo, one of Hack Reactor’s JavaScript Evangelists, has made JavaScript accessible for a range of fledgling developers, through classes at Girl Develop It! and a series of classes that she started for developers just past the beginner level. For the next three months, she is working with a non-profit called Laboratoria to set up a programming school for underprivileged women in Lima, Peru. Laboratoria is an offshoot of a software consulting firm called AYU. They expect to train 100 women in 2015.

Bianca Gandolfo is designing a comprehensive programming course for underpriveleged women in Peru.

“I’m designing the whole curriculum for the six month program,” Gandolfo explains. “They had a pilot program, but they did the curriculum kind of on the fly.”

Laboratoria’s pilot round of their program taught CSS and HTML over three months, and now they are bringing in Gandolfo to refine their existing course and develop a JavaScript curriculum.

The program teaches girls aged 16 to around 22, who cannot afford to go to college. The course includes professional skills in addition to programming education. Gandolfo is building the curriculum by pulling from her own courses, a Udacity course on Object-Oriented JavaScript taught by our Dean and CTO Marcus Phillips, and parts of Hack Reactor’s curriculum.

The program faces challenges unique to working with an economically disadvantaged population. Almost none of the students are expected to have internet access at home. To help alleviate some of the issues this creates, Gandolfo is designing the curriculum to be doable offline, whenever possible.

In addition to her work with Laboratoria, Gandolfo is  training the engineers at AYU in Angular, Mongo, Node and Express, so that they will be full-stack engineers.

Hack Reactor is supporting Gandolfo in her efforts by having Scott Moss, our resident Angular expert, work with Gandolfo on a weekly basis to help design that part of the curriculum.

“I’m just in disbelief that I’m able to do this,” Gandolfo exclaims, “because it’s like a combination of all my values and goals wrapped into one. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Hack Reactor.”

Interested in joining the next cohort of full-stack coders at Hack Reactor? Apply to our onsite or online program today.

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