by Duchess Magazine
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set of girls

Talking about an app designer, a software developer, or a hacker, do you picture a girl? this probably makes the female gender posed with problems of versatility. But this was proved wrong as Girls from New York city recently installed that hope in the feminine gender.

Girls ages 12 through seventeen met in New York City on July 24 to compete in one of several Black Girls Code Hackathons across the country designed to help change that. speaking with the 11-year-old Autumn Noel and 14-year-old N’Dea Jackson, two of the girls from the hackathon’s winning team, about how they came up with their brilliant app idea, what they love about coding, and what they plan to do with all that prize money.

Sixteen teams of girls spent three days racing against the clock to create apps related to the theme of “project humanity” and focused on social justice. The second-place winners developed an app that aims to inspire and support students who have been bullied. N’Dea and the other three girls on the winning team ,Adia-Simone Rhoden, Marissa Rivera and Autumn Noel — designed an app called “Mana” that lets students study together remotely, get notes and homework after being absent and work with study tools like flashcards and built-in break-time reminders.


N’Dea lives in Philadelphia and traveled with her mom to New York for the hackathon. She said she has participated in a few other workshops designed help get girls into coding, and that now she tries to participate in events like the hackathon whenever she can find them.

“I love how [with coding] you can build whatever you want, and there are no limitations because you have all the controls,” N’Dea said. “I’m fascinated by how apps work and by learning how to make them function properly.”

This was N’Dea’s first experience with the Black Girls Code organization, which started out in San Francisco in 2011 and has since expanded to a chapter-based program that includes summer camps, after-school programs, and community-based workshops across the country designed to introduce basic computer programming and coding skills to girls of color in grades 6-12.

N’Dea told us that she’s also passionate about theater and musicals, but as far as a career is concerned, she said, “I think I’ll stick with coding and become a computer engineer or an app developer.”

According to N’Dea she told her experience and what she learnt unveiling the App.

“We went through lots of ideas and everyone suggested some,” 14-year-old N’Dea Jackson revealed.

“Learning to code with other girls teaches you about being able to stand up for yourself,” N’Dea said, “and helps teach you that you’re just as good as everyone else. … Right now, this field is mostly monopolized by boys, and we really need to get our foot in the door. Because we all have really good ideas.”

When asked what they planned to do with the $500 each they got in prize money, the girls, unsurprisingly, played it smart. Autumn said she plans to save hers, and N’Dea said she’s going to split hers into three categories  some to save, some to invest, and some to put toward school.

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