Nakeya teaching a CCW Python lab

Case Study: Nakeya

Codecraft Works became a Brevard Public Schools partner in 2014. Though this partnership is young, we’ve been lucky enough to work alongside a variety of talented teachers, interns, and employees. Their hard work and dedication mean the world to us, so we are starting a case study series. In this series, we will talk to community members past and present, and highlight how their work with Codecraft has positively affected their lives. We are so happy to know that our work matters. Thank you, for joining this community and supporting us each step of the way.

Nakeya A. is a soon-to-be-graduating high school senior who will pursue a B.S. degree in the fall. For the last five years, Nakeya has been a highly involved member of the Codecraft community, starting as a student, then a student volunteer and becoming an intern, who teaches labs, clubs and helps with Codecraft camps. However, Nakeya is much more than an intern. She is an ambitious student who has developed a passion for sharing her knowledge with younger students and seeks to influence other women to feel comfortable and confident in joining the field.

“My desire to help encourage young girls to pursue a degree in STEM comes from a personal experience of mine where there were only three girls — including me — in my computer science class as a sophomore,” said Nakeya.

At this point in her life, Nakeya had already been actively involved with Codecraft and in pursuing her STEM education. As she noticed that she was surrounded primarily by young men, she did her own research and found that few women pursue degrees in the STEM field. Inspired by this, she decided to become “an advocate for young girls” and started the Discover Engineering club at Mel High. This club has introduced over 200 young women to STEM careers and provides hands-on activities as well as a day fair that hosts 8 area companies including Harris, Northrop Grumman, and of course, Codecraft.

“In partnership with the area companies last year, my club raised funds and awarded a STEM scholarship to a graduating female senior, as well as a weeklong STEM camp scholarship that allowed a freshman female to attend a summer camp with Codecraft.”

Because of its success, Discover Engineering will host STEM day again this year, and they have expanded their outreach to include local elementary schools. While being one of a small handful of women within your chosen field can be daunting, Nakeya thanks Codecraft for helping her turn this into something positive.

“Codecraft has shaped how I think of my future studies in a positive way” said Nakeya. “[Codecraft] influences me to encourage young women to pursue a career in STEM and share the passion I have for coding with young kids.”

From learning to code to teaching it, she believes that her time with Codecraft has equipped her with a wealth of knowledge that’ll be beneficial in all areas of her life.

“A few career-specific skills Codecraft has taught me is how to be creative, an effective communicator, and resilient” said Nakeya.

“Codecraft has also taught me how to work well in a team, new technical skills, and problem-solving skills, providing a benefit for me in my future career,” continued Nakeya.

As an intern with Codecraft, Nakeya has not only been given the opportunity to teach others but was also a participant in a lunch hosted with members of Collins Aerospace, which allowed her the opportunity to begin networking within her field.

“I thought the lunch was very insightful because they provided me with information about how all of the experiences we gain in college transfer into the workplace,” said Nakeya. “I also expanded my network to include 3 professionals who offered to be available when I have questions about school and engineering.”

Nakeya has done so much, not just for Codecraft, but for the Brevard County community. Though saying goodbye to one of our interns is always sad, we know that Nakeya will be a force to be reckoned with as she helps to positively shape the future of the STEM field.



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