Four South Lakes High School female leaders attended the White House for its first-ever codeathon. The event was part of the "Equal Futures App Challenge" to create apps that inspire young women to become leaders in our democracy.
On Monday afternoon, Dec. 17, South Lakes High School seniors Nicole Rappaport, Abby Studen, Becky Oswalt and Tatevik Markaryan went to the White House to participate in what Todd Park, assistant to the president and U.S. chief technology officer, called the “first codeathon in White House history.”
At the “codeathon” organized by the White House Council on Women and Girls, more than 30 girls from D.C. area middle and high schools were matched up with professional developers and coders to brainstorm an app creation that promotes civic education and/or inspires girls to serve as leaders in democracy.
Political experts from organizations focused on increasing female political leadership kicked off the event by describing the challenges women leaders face in running for office.
“We need girls at the leadership table and we need to support them early and often,” said Jessica Grounds, executive director of Running Start.
Nicole Rappaport, South Lakes High School senior class president, and her group worked on an app to link girls to female role models.
“It was inspiring hearing from White House staffers and other professionals who are so passionate about making changes to help girls participate,” she said.
When asked if she might run for office again some day, her answer was an emphatic “yes!”
This App Challenge is part of the Equal Futures Partnership that President Obama launched in September 2011 at the United Nations General Assembly. More than a dozen countries have signed on to this international effort to politically and economically empower women.
South Lakes students were invited to represent the Mid-Atlantic Girls Collaborative (MAGiC) and the National Girls Collaborative Project at the White House Codeathon.
(The app challenge is currently open for more student entries until Jan. 12, 2013. More information is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/09/24/white-house-equal-futures-app-challenge-promote-civic-education-and-public-leadership).