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New Digital Literacy Program to be Offered to Female Students


The Liberty Foundation NextGen Tech Scholar Program will offer programming and coding to female students in USVI. (Source file photo)

Liberty Foundation is partnering with Y -Teens VI and Society of Women Coders to offer its NextGen Tech Scholar Program to female students in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is the first time the program has been offered in the territory.

The students were recruited by Y-Teens VI, a St. Thomas-based organization that empowers girls and young women in the USVI through programs that help them develop leadership and professional skills that contribute to their personal growth, according to the press release.

“Y-Teens VI is excited to partner with Liberty Foundation and Society of Women Coders in this worthwhile initiative as it highlights one of the core areas of programming for us, which is exposing girls and young women to technology skills, computer science and engineering as viable career pathways for girls and young women in this digital age,” said Donnalie Edwards-Cabey, president and executive director of Y-Teens VI. “This continues the work that Y-Teens VI has helped to facilitate in this area in the USVI over the last 10 years.”

The Liberty Foundation NextGen Tech Scholar Program is a 20-week online afterschool technical training residency that focuses on coding and programming for local public middle and high school female students between the ages of 13 and 17. The students will participate in workshops that teach them skills such as task automation, data analysis, data visualization, digital literacy, website creation and Python programming, which is commonly used for software development, the press release stated.

Students will also participate in mentoring sessions and have access to an online community of coders that they can contact to answer questions and forge new friendships. Classes take place every Thursday, with mentoring sessions on Saturdays, the release stated.

“This edition is very significant for us because this is the first time we are offering the NextGen program in the USVI,” stated Kavya Krishna, director and CEO of Society of Women Coders. “The girls taking this program are learning about digital literacy and the basics of coding, both important to developing skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. It will also be a door-opening opportunity for them to follow a career in STEM, and even a first step on their education paths, like getting university scholarships.”

Liberty Foundation will continue to help Y-Teens VI and other nonprofit organizations in the USVI throughout 2024. Since November 2020, Liberty and Liberty Foundation have invested $338,500 and impacted 24 organizations that offer services in the areas of education, social well-being and health, arts, and environmental protection to underserved populations throughout the USVI, according to the release.

“We are proud to join initiatives like the NextGen Tech Scholars Program and partner with organizations like Y-Teens, which improve the lives of girls and young women in the USVI by providing them with skills that will enrich their lives and make them productive citizens and leaders,” said Ravindra Maywahlall, general manager of Liberty VI. “We feel it’s important to support the work of these entities and provide resources they need so they can reach young women in underserved communities and help them thrive.”


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