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Hardin County Schools is inviting community partners to help foster the next generation of computer programmers, coders and developers. 

HCS Instructional Technology Coordinator Brooke Whitlow has contacted businesses and individuals that may have an interest in working with students who are taking information technology (IT) based coursework in the district’s three high schools. The initiative, called “Sit with Me”, was created by members of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. It is a non-profit coalition that works to increase the meaningful participation of females in computing fields and careers.

“This will be a wonderful opportunity for these business and individuals to learn more about this critical program,” Whitlow said. “Obviously, we want all of our students to be successful and reach their goals. We know that a lot of our male students have filled jobs in IT careers across the country and have done very well. We just want to make sure that our female students know they have the same opportunities and can do just as well.”

According to the Sit With Me program, women held only 25% of all computing occupations in 2015. Even fewer women are found in software development, technology leadership or the other key roles in IT. 

“The program is called ‘Sit With Me’ because it asks those who have been successful in the IT field to provide mentorship and leadership to these wonderful young ladies,” Whitlow noted. “These students are sponges. They have a deep desire to soak up as much knowledge as possible. And, we know that these businesses and entrepreneurs need employees. These young ladies will graduate soon with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to make businesses very successful. Combine that knowledge with our Work Ethic Certification program that nurtures their soft skills, these young ladies will soar to great heights.”

Whitlow is also the instructor for a Girls Who Code class that is specifically for females who have a deep interest in IT related work.

The Sit With Me luncheon is April 14 in Nannette Johnston Hall at the Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center (EC3). Invitations have sent for the event. It is a joint venture between students in Mrs. Whitlow’s class and students in Edwin Allin’s IT classes. Mr. Allin is also an IT instructor at EC3. 

“Students have left our IT career pathway and have been extremely successful,” Allin said. “I know we are doing great things each day in class. However, this initiative will take us beyond our wildest dreams and will give our students an even stronger employee profile when they graduate. I’m thankful for those who participate in the Sit With Me initiative.”

The HCS “Sit With Me” initiative has received financial and other resilient support from “Heels Together.” “Heels Together” was established within the Central Kentucky Community Foundation in 2014 by a group of community minded leaders who wanted to invest in long-term solutions for transforming the lives of women and girls and improving the well-being of our entire community. Learn more about Heels Together when you CLICK HERE.  

Information about “Sit With Me” can be found when you CLICK HERE

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