Black Girls Code Competes to Win $50,000 in Microsoft Azure Developers Competition

Only TechEd nonprofit focused on girls of color is one of top three finalists

(Image: Black Girls Code)

San Francisco-based nonprofit Black Girls Code (BGC) is in the running to win a $50,000 grant from Microsoft’s Azure developer community. BGC is currently in the lead of the international public vote competition, with technology education nonprofits Code.org, which is focused on getting more children interested in computer science, in second place and CoderDojo, which aims to teach today’s youth how to code, in third.

The nonprofit organization with the highest number of votes will secure the grant to help continue their social impact initiative in technology education. Microsoft’s AzureDevs competition will donate a total of $100,000 to the top five technology education nonprofits. The nonprofit with the most votes will receive $50,000, the second highest will receive $20,000 and $10,000 will go to each of the three runner ups.

BGC founder Kimberly Bryant and her team have worked tirelessly to get the word out about their most recent campaign and greatly appreciate Microsoft’s recognition given the nonprofit’s passion to repairing the pipeline problem of getting more women involved in tech careers.

“It is a great honor to be selected by Microsoft among one of the greatest tech education nonprofits. While there are several other organizations doing great work in this space, we are the only one with a focused outreach to girls of color,” says Bryant via email. “We believe this sets us apart from the pack and the work we are doing to create opportunities for these bright young ladies is crucial and relevant.”

BGC has garnered massive support from its social media following. Take a glimpse of the BGC Twitter page, which boasts over 9,000 followers, and you’ll see the outpouring of support, including tweets from tech entrepreneurs like former business development VP for Foursquare Tristan Walker and Tiffani Bell of Pencil You In, as well as fellow tech organizations such as Black Celebrity Giving, Black Girl Nerds and BlerdNation.

“What truly fuels our commitment as an organization is the overwhelming support and encouragement we receive from our community.  As a grassroots organization we believe ‘the power of the people’ is supreme and we are truly thankful to have such an amazing community behind us to help us do this work for our girls—the next generation of tech leaders and creators,” Bryant says. “We hope that others will also join this movement and help us continue this work by supporting us with a vote in the Microsoft contest, contributing to our cause campaign, volunteering, and spreading the word to their networks.”

Committed to increasing the number of Black, Latina and Native American women in tech, BGC to date has provided workshops and classes that introduce girls, ages of 7-17, to computer programming, robotics, mobile app development, game design, and other technology topics to over 1,500 girls in communities across the country.

Recognized as BlackEnterprise.com’s Tech Startup of the Week last March, Bryant and BGC are preparing for the “Summer of CODE 2013 – The Remix” tour to educate 2,000 girls in computer programming.

To vote for Black Girls Code, visit the Microsoft Azure developer site.

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