This week the Go_Girls got to build on their presentation and Scratch skills. Giving short presentations each week on topics including technology-related jobs, and what it is like to be a young NEET in Oxfordshire, helps the young women to develop their confidence in public speaking. It is amazing to see how far they have come since the beginning of the programme. Many of the Go_Girls suffer from anxiety and depression. This can make speech-giving a very difficult task. However, having had the opportunity to practice in front of a supportive group of peers has enabled these young women to conquer their fears and strengthen their self-belief. It is fantastic to see!
The Go_Girls’ Scratch skills are also coming on leaps and bounds. All the tasks are ‘scaffolded’, so that the young women can move at their own pace. As they have moved through the exercises the difficulty level has increased. This ensures that everyone can tackle tasks at the level which is most rewarding for them. Of course, the Go_Girl facilitator team is always on hand to answer any questions and provide extra support.
Towards the end of the session Julian Box, the hugely successful technology entrepreneur, came in to meet the Go_Girls. They loved meeting him, and were particularly excited when he told them that traditional educational qualifications are not the most important tool for getting hired in the tech world. Instead, Julian told them that the coding projects a candidate has engaged in over the last year are of particular interest to technology companies. A portfolio of work that you have created yourself using code is far more representative of your ability to carry out tech projects than a GCSE in ICT. This is encouraging news for the young women, as many of them have been unable to attend formal schooling for some time due to health and family related issues. The future looks bright for our Go_Girls – all it takes is a computer and some code!