USF Hosts Computer Science Summer Enrichment for High School Girls

SAN FRANCISCO (June 21, 2011) – Dedicated to making computer science fun and accessible young women, especially would-be first-generation college students, the University of San Francisco (USF) is proud to host the 2011 Summer Enrichment Program, a computer science camp for Bay Area high school girls. From June 27-July 1, 20 young women from public high schools across the bay will converge at USF for this five-day camp run by the university’s Computer Science Department.

Now in its seventh year, the program is designed to introduce high school-aged girls to the opportunities available to them in the field of computer science. The schedule of events will emphasize hands-on activities such as working on an Android app, developing a clothing program that matches style and colors, and taking apart computers. Participating students will hear from Teresa Win, a USF alumnus and prominent woman in the field of computer science, and will travel on a field trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View. To show the real working environment of an IT company, students will tour Google, learn about the cool things they are working on, and have lunch there.

“Computer Science is historically a field with low numbers of women, especially women of color,” said Eunjin “EJ” Jung, assistant professor of computer science at USF. “We are committed to providing these girls with an enjoyable and interactive week of hands-on activities that will hopefully spark their interest in technology. This enrichment program allows us to connect young women with the fascinating world of computer science even before they start thinking about what they’d like to study in college.”

Lack of funds and access to these types of enrichment programs tend to be the main challenges preventing young girls from getting involved. Not wanting money to be the roadblock, Professor Jung applied for and received a Jesuit Foundation grant that will cover the cost for anyone unable to afford the $40 application fee. She also partnered with USF Upward Bound so that nine of the 20 participants are Upward Bound students. “While other universities may offer camps, we made sure the USF Summer Enrichment Program is affordable to participants, and that financial hardships wouldn’t hold anyone back.”

About USF

Established in 1855, USF is San Francisco’s oldest university and is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country. The University of San Francisco is committed to being a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world. With nearly 9,600 students enrolled both on- and off-campus, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others. For more information about the University of San Francisco, please visit www.usfca.edu.