Over 200 female students students from the Coding and Microsoft Imagine Academy at Hialeah Gardens Middle School (HGMS) attended a presentation organized by Ms. Josie Goytisolo, Founder and CEO of Codella and SheTech Miami. Guest Speakers included Ms. Beatris Mendez Gandica, Program Manager with Microsoft and Dr. Margaret Dominguez, Optical Engineer at NASA Goddard. Also, in attendance was Miss Aurora Cosio, CODeLLA Student Founder.

The HGMS IT teacher, Ms. Anita Scott stated that the students got to see firsthand how fellow Latina women are making their mark in STEAM careers. Ms. Mendez Gandica encouraged the students to “Rewrite the Rules of the World,” through the pursuit of careers in technology. Dr. Dominguez shared lessons learned which included, “Take risks, Get involved and do something for others, Be nice, and Read, learn and be on the lookout!” As well as her definition of luck, “Luck: is the intersection of opportunity and preparation.” As the presentation came to a close, the students’ spirits and optimism about their future were soaring as evidenced by their eagerness to ask questions and take pictures with their new-found female heroes.

In the near future, Ms. Mendez Gandica of Microsoft will be conducting a series of Skype discussions for the HGMS Jaguars working on Microsoft Industry Certification programs.

CODeLLA Introduces Latina and Other Underrepresented Girls Ages 8 to 13 to Coding, 21st Century Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Role Models Through Year-Round Programming. CODeLLA’s Mission is to Empower Girls with the Confidence and Skills to Enable them to Design, Prototype and Build Their Own Digital Products.


Hialeah Middle School IT Academy

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