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Ella Witalec ‘25 Discusses CodeHERs CLE Hackathon in the Chagrin Valley Times

Ella Witalec '25 was featured in the Chagrin Valley Times where she talks about the CodeHERs CLE Hackathon she is hosting at Laurel on June 3. 
Through her Capstone Project, a two-year endeavor that takes place in 10th and 11th Grades allowing students to delve deep into a passion or area of interest, and her involvement in Laurel’s entrepreneur classes and opportunities, Ella is throwing her first-ever Hackathon at Laurel.

The free event—the CodeHers CLE Hack-a-Thon—is designed to introduce Middle School girls to Python, a beginner-friendly multipurpose programming language that Ella taught herself. To bring this event, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. June 3, to fruition, Ella entered and won the Teen Accelerate competition through the Cleveland Leadership Teen Accelerate competition in February. She pitched her idea, beat out 11 other teams and took home the $1,000 prize. “I explained to the judges how there is a lot of gender inequality in this field,” she said, “and how we need to get more girls involved and give them support to see role models in the field.” She said that statistics show girls lose interest in the field around the age of 15 mainly due to loss of support and societal pressures pushing girls away from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, coursework. “I was inspired to do some sort of project that would help middle school girls in particular to get involved in computer science,” Ella continued. Her goal is to provide support for others to sustain an interest in the field, showing them how computer science serves to solve real-world issues.

To read the full story in the Chagrin Valley Times click here.

To register for the Hackathon click here
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