Girls Who Code – A National Movement to Teach Young Girls How to Code

This is the meeting for the week of August 21, 2017 through August 26, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Girls Who Code – A National Movement to Teach Young Girls How to Code
Program Description: In this week’s program, our guest speaker shares with us information about the nationwide educational initiative to teach young girls computer programming.
Speaker: Danielle Pabilona, Mentor with Girls Who Code – San Francisco Bay Area

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Message from President Stephen

New to our meetings? Then I want to welcome you to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s online meeting! Every week we curate inspiring and educational content in an online format like the one you’re seeing here. As you continue reading, watching, and scrolling, our hope is that you’ll leave feeling a little bit more inspired. As an online Rotary club, we have these asynchronous meetings online, but we also meet in-person in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco bay area for service projects and for social events. Keep reading on, and feel free to also join us for one of our in-person events if you can make it!

I hope everyone is having a great start to their week and got a chance to catch the Solar Eclipse! I was on my way to work this morning and there was an unusual amount of traffic for some reason. I later find a bunch of cars parked in the emergency lane and realized that everyone was waiting for the eclipse. There has got to be a better location to watch the eclipse than the side of the freeway, right?

Anyhow, thanks again to everyone who came to show support for our live program recordings lately. I think we have made great improvements and will continue to do so in the coming weeks as we fine-tune the process that we currently have. Thank you to the Programs Committee for all their hard work!

Enjoy this weeks meeting about Girls Who Code!

Yours in service,

Stephen Zhou, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

We believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

From Yvonne – “Summer is coming to a close, and schools are starting to go back into session. Here are some cures for your back-to-school blues.”

Why did the student throw his watch out of the school window?
He wanted to see time fly!
Why wasn’t the geometry teacher at school?
Because she sprained her angle!
What is a bus that you can never enter?
A syllabus!

Weekly Inspiration: Making Jewelry From Scraps of Detroit Graffiti

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story about transforming trash into something gorgeous through Detroit Graffiti.

While living near a women’s shelter in Detroit, Michigan, Amy Peterson felt moved to do something to help her neighbors. Her inspiration turned into Rebel Nell, a social enterprise dedicated to employing, educating and empowering women transitioning out of homeless shelter living. The organization hires women to work as designers, creating jewelry from locally fallen Detroit graffiti. For the women, it’s a chance to believe in themselves again as they give new life to a discarded piece of their own city.

What is one need in your local community you would like to see met with social entrepreneurship? Share with us in the comments your local problem or a solution you’d like to see happen!

Coffee with a Rotarian

Every month our club members are paired with fellow members and special guests for an exclusive one-on-one coffee session called Coffee with a Rotarian. The idea is simple: spend 1 hour of your time during the month to get to better know a fellow Rotarian! Some of the greatest friendships were spawned that way. Members report on their coffee sessions here.

This week we feature a coffee session between two of our international members, Tzviatko Chiderov from South Africa and Jaiki Alves from Brazil!

Here is what Tzviatko had to say about Jaiki:

Here is what Jaiki had to say about Tzviatko:

Thank you Tzviatko and Jaiki for sharing!

A big shoutout to Tzviatko Chiderov for continuing to chair and organize these Coffee with a Rotarian sessions! If you are not yet signed up for a Coffee Session, please email Tzviatko at [email protected] to sign up!

World of Rotary

The over 1.2 million members of Rotary Clubs around the world form the largest humanitarian service organization, Rotary International. We’re part of this global family. This segment is a tribute to stories and to good deeds Rotary clubs around the world are conducting.

Every year all incoming Rotary District Governors-elect from all 438 Rotary districts in the world come to San Diego, California for a mandatory week-long training called Rotary International Assembly. Rotary International gathers together top-level minds and speakers to inspire the incoming class of Rotary District Governors with the hope that they will each pass down the inspiration to Rotarians in their districts.

This week for the World of Rotary segment, we are featuring a keynote speech from the 2016 Rotary International Assembly. What’s unique about this speech is that it’s delivered by a young speaker, and that a number of you will probably recognize the speaker: our own club member, Mitty Chang!

Mitty’s speech walks through his own journey in the Rotary family, and his insights to where membership in Rotary is going and what our Rotary clubs need to do to adapt to change.

You can view his speech on the official Rotary International website here:

Whether you have time to watch the whole speech or not, we invite you to consider sharing with us your thoughts about how Rotary can adapt to changing times in the meeting comments.

For Members Only: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Membership Committee is seeking out ideas!

The Membership Committee (chaired by Mitty Chang and Megan Breyer) are seeking out members who would like to join the committee to help create more benefits for members and improve the club experience for members. Both local and remote members are welcome to join. Please email Mitty at [email protected] if you are interested in joining.

Member Email Addresses Coming Soon

Webmaster Mitty here. In the coming two weeks we will be setting up email forwarders for every member. Soon [email protected] (first name + last initial) will forward emails to the email address you have on file in our club directory! We are working on providing additional auxillary services for members, so keep an eye out in this section for growing developments!

Past Member Announcements:

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
135 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Friday, September 15 – Drinks, Food, and Art at the Palo Alto Arts Center

Come join fellow club members on Friday, September 15, 2017 starting at 7 PM for food and drinks at the Palo Alto Arts Center’s annual fundraiser! In addition to socializing with your fellow Rotarians and visiting the new Play art exhibit, you can support an amazing community effort to keep the arts alive! This event officially ends at 10 PM, but you can come and go as you please! The Palo Alto Arts Center is located at 1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Tickets are not required.

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! What would you like to do? We’re working on putting together some exciting socials and impactful service projects for our upcoming quarter’s event calendar. Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards powering our club’s projects and service grants.

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his generous $15 donation to PolioPlus! Rory had this to say:
All is well! My wife is returning today from visiting our grandkids. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus!

Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her generous $25 donation to TRF Annual Fund! Monique had this to say:
My doctoral defense has been scheduled! Sept. 1! Yay! Please contribute to the Rotary Annual Fund. Thanks.

Thank you to member Nate Gildart for his generous $25 donation! Nate had this to say:
I was so moved by Mr. Ravindran’s presentation that it literally brought me to tears. I’ve been living in Japan for twenty years and on a few occasions I’ve had “the dreaded phone call” come to life. I’ve had the benefit of the technology that he didn’t, but the feeling of anxiety and helplessness is the same. I use a few of the partnerships that he explained and will use my Rotary membership to get funding to Rotary. I’m feeling kind of stupid for not doing so in the past.

Thank you all for your donations last week!

This week’s happy dollars donations will be going to help fund our club projects and service grants!

Happy dollars is also a great opportunity to share with the group about something good that has happened to you, while giving back to a great cause.

So what are you happy about? Share with us below, and help support one of our future leaders!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting featuring the program on Human Trafficking Panel:

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
“Past Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran’s story about his contact with the Australian who helped him find out about his brother was very moving. A great reminder why we give our time to Rotary. Francini, I know there are so many young people in Brazil who see possibilities for themselves as a result of your work and the work of all those who have been part of Hackatruck. Your work is inspirational!

Member Maxi Bustos (California, USA) had this to say:
“Excellent meeting! Francini, thanks for your presentation, I really like the project! I have witness many of the issues you mention back in my country Argentina, so it is great to see solutions! Congratulations on your work and keep rocking!

Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
“I hope to see you again soon Francini. We need a HackATruck in Cape Town. I loved the Benefits of Rotary membership video and we also have a Braille trail in our Botanical Gardens, in Kirstenbosch in Cape Town. You can also rub the leaves of many of the plants for fragrances. What a fantastic young man to take such an initiative.

Member Nathan Gildart (Japan) had this to say:
Francini, this is a truly innovative project! Hackatruck answers a need. (and an ongoing need, not only in Brazil, but globally) Using innovative ways such as this to reach out and provide opportunities for young people to learn and grow. Fantastic! You’re brining this to your whole country, not just one region. Perhaps Hackatruck will grow? Globally? #innovation. Richard – congratulations on your family’s special day!

Member Leanza Tupfer (California, USA) had this to say:
“Francini Carvalho, thank you for your awesome work with Hackatruck! I really like the concept of bringing a truck filled with technology to students so they can explore their ideas and develop an app, which allows them to learn and feel technology from an early age. I wish an opportunity like this was available to me growing up! Obrigada!

Member Megan Breyer (California, USA) had this to say:
“Francini, it wounds like you are taking a wonderful approach to teaching! I had no idea there was such a high dropout rate for these classes in Brazil. The company I work for has an office down there, and I’m always curious to hear more about the culture, successes, and challenges for the people we do business with. Please keep us updated on how this goes in the future!

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Girls Who Code

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week we have a program about Girls Who Code with guest speaker Danielle Pabilona!

Tech jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, yet girls are being left behind. While interest in computer science ebbs over time, the biggest drop off happens between the ages of 13-17.

The gender gap in computing has actually been getting worse since the 1980s. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields. US graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3%.


Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission: to close the gender gap in technology.

What started as an experiment has grown into a national movement. Girls Who Code has gone from 20 girls in New York to 40,000 girls in 50 states. That’s the number of girls who graduate each year with a degree in computer science. When girls learn to code, they become change agents in their communities.

Danielle Pabilona is a mentor and volunteer teacher of the Girls Who Code program in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a graduate of the Girls Who Code program, Danielle has returned to guide young girls through the same programming courses she went through not too long ago. In this week’s program Danielle shares with us the Girls Who Code program and the impact it has had with her.

Please join us in welcoming Danielle from Girls Who Code!

Related Links

Leave a comment!

Share with us your thoughts about Girls Who Code! If you have any questions for Danielle, ask her in the comments section.

Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Recordings:

  • None at the moment!

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • Rory Olsen


    Thank you for your entertaining, informative program.

    • Danielle Pabilona

      Thank you so much Rory!

  • Sean Straker

    Thank you Danielle for the Girls Who Code story and update. It’s no secret that IT job numbers are going to grow immensely over the coming years and everyone should benefit from that, both socially and economically. Inspire, educate, equip – great idea!

    • Danielle Pabilona

      Thank you so much, Sean!

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Mitty, impressive speech. Well done and such a great idea with the website template. Thank you for doing this.
    Danielle, I like how passionate you clearly are about the Girls Who Code program. Way to be persistent and help empower more girls with the network, skills and knowledge they need to be successful in tech.

    • Thanks Tzviatko!

    • Danielle Pabilona

      Thank you so much Tzviatko. It’s definitely magical seeing the wide variety of work produced by Girls Who Code students!

  • Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne

    Great presentation about Girls Who Code and the need to raise more girls to be involved in the tech industry. Many public libraries make the clubs program available to their communities, and it’s a great partnership. Thanks, Danielle, for your presentation and for becoming a teacher. About Palo Alto Art Center event on 9/15: this is one of the regular quarterly events to introduce the upcoming exhibit. It is FREE to attend, though food is available for purchase and a specialty cocktails are available. See more here: And thanks for the coffee chat – nice to learn more about you both.

    • Danielle Pabilona

      Thank you Monique! I’ll definitely look into that event.

  • Catherine A

    Wow! Wonderful Girls who Code project and presentation. Had I had something like this as high school student, it would have changed the course of my career, since coding is one of the few careers which marries creative arts (Web Design) and qualitative logic skills (hard coding.) When I became a librarian I segued into coding and managing our branch Web site, which I expanded from 4 pages to 45 pages to include local services and agencies of interest to our patrons. I had finally found my calling! I continued to enjoy Web development and content after retirement, creating free sites for some local nonprofit groups, then teaching their members to manage the sites on their own. For that reason, I was happy to read that Girls Who Code has volunteer opportunities so women in coding professions (or those who wish to learn coding along with the girls) may support this wonderful effort:

    I know that once you get hooked on coding and Web/App development, it becomes a daily passion, with much time spent in expanding and perfecting projects. It occurred to me that girls really need personal laptops to practice coding, to develop ideas and to complete projects. I was wondering if there was any effort to award participating girls with laptops which they can keep, as soon as they become active at GWC clubs or were accepted at GWC summer sessions? The girls could then take these laptops to college with them.

    Great speech, Mitty! Good interview, Tzviatko and Jaiki!
    Loved the Jewelry from scraps program. Ann Ellis (in the UK) is one of my favorite jewelry artists. She uses 100% recycled materials. Her beautiful work can be viewed at:

  • Keith Marsh

    Danielle, thanks for the program. You go girl.
    Here is my photo sequence of the partial to total solar eclipse as seen in northern Oregon.

    • Keith, you take some of the best photos ever!! This is great!

  • Nicole Pham

    Great job Danielle! I love hearing what you have accomplished and I cannot wait to see what you do in the future!!

  • ShagsCA

    Great program, and very informative meeting.

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Danielle, thank you SO much for your presentations. I heard that the majority of computer programs used to be women (and they were paid peanuts) and then it shifted to be predominantly men. Hopefully, we can shift it back!! Learning to code is such an important skill to have so I really affirm your journey. I can only hope that more women not only code, but also are welcomed in the tech industry (which is not the case unfortunately…) Keep up the great work and continue inspiring our younger sisters to dream big!!

  • Nathan Gildart

    Thank you for the presentation Danielle. I was disappointed to be unable to attend – I included Girls Who Code in a recent blog post after reading a book called Code in Every Class, which is where I learned about GWC and would have enjoyed speaking with you. Programs such as this are needed until the “gap” has been bridged. Research in North America shows that schools have been “pigeon-holing” males (and moreso Asian males) towards maths and science fields far more than girls, with less encouragement for girls to go into these post-secondary areas of study. It brings attention to the stark reality that girls are under-represented in maths-sciences based fields, such as engineering and computer programming. This exists across the world, including highly literate industrialized nations. You’ve also made an important point that the program’s is key goals are about resilience and persistence. Having taught for four years at a girls’ school I was able to arrange for students to spend time at the Google office in Tokyo, which had a workshop for girls called Mind The Gap, though I’m not certain how consistently it runs. Are there any plans to expand Girls Who Code into Canada / outside of the US? Keep up the good work!

    Jaiki, if you ever go Canada please let me know. If I’m back in Halifax I’d love to show you around the east coast! Yvonne, the School Spirit image cracked me up. I’ll be putting it up in my classroom around Halloween time.

    • Thanks Nate! Rotary Membership in the western countries unfortunately hasn’t changed too much since 2016. I’m here in Australia right now for a Rotary conference, and membership “down under” has been down. A lot. As for in North America, we’re finally seeing the membership decline reverse for Rotary; not by much — but we are finally seeing net growth over the past two years. Membership continues to grow rapidly in parts of Asia such as India, South Korea, and Japan. I’d love to hear more about your experiences interacting with Rotary clubs in Japan!

  • Brett Sham

    Thanks for a great presentation Danielle!

    Jaiki and Tzviatko, great to learn more about you guys.

  • Danielle I am developer too, very interesting to know a few more about you, congrats to teach another girls, I have sure that you are helping and building a future.

    @nathangildart:disqus thanks so much, it is sounds good, I hope to visit Canada when you return.

  • Andrew Taw

    Thanks for your presentation Daneille! Some of my students have participated in GWC and I’m a big fan of the work you guys do!

  • Steven, for all I know, the side of the freeway is the perfect spot for an eclipse. The video about jewelry made from graffiti is one of the coolest inspirational videos I’ve seen in a while. Great stuff. Tzviatko and Jaiki, thanks for the cool intros from the Coffee with a Rotarian program. In honor of Jaiki, I’ll add a picture below I took while in Rio earlier this year. I hope the beach scene isn’t an upsetting one. 8^) Monique, good luck with the upcoming doctoral defense! I’m tossing in $5 to the Happy Dollars Pot to send good vibes your way.

    Danielle, it was great to talk to you when we did the recording. Keep fighting the good fight to bring opportunities to those who may not know they have these paths open to them.

  • Richard Knaggs

    Wow, Mitty your speech blew my mind. Thank you for your gift I have notified someone who will notify local Rotary clubs. Danielle I share your passion and I believe we should get as many girls into tech as possible and run Technovation ( at our school. We have a few teams who have taken part and have developed some incredible ideas and a few apps that will soon be on the App store. Women add a completely different dynamic to tech and the solutions they provide are naturally innovative as a result especially because it is such a male dominant industry. I agree with you that because such a program is designed for girls it keeps them more interested in the tech because it has a different feel and approach.

    • Thank you Richard for the kind words! 🙂 Technovation looks like an incredible program! I’d love to hear more about it in detail one of these days! We definitely need to chat about this

  • Angela Hoang

    Thanks for the presentation Danielle, I’m glad that now there’s such an emphasis on women in STEM and I have to say that I’m loving the fact that you’re opening doors to girls who never thought this could be a pathway for them! Well done!!

  • Brett Sham

    I saw this newspaper article and thought it would be good to share with the club off the back of the meeting we had earlier this month on human trafficking and slavery:

    It has some statistics on slavery in the Asia Pacific region and notes the pledge from large companies to scrutinise their supply chain to eliminate slavery. Further, The Australian government will be introducing legislation requiring large Australian companies to scrutinise their supply chains and report annually on measures they are taking to combat modern slavery, including human trafficking, debt bondage and forced labour.

  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Danielle, thanks for a great presentation! Keep up the good work!

  • Danielle, I have seen and worked with several schools who have a GWC program and absolutely love watching young women who thought they didn’t belong in the math/science world suddenly discover that they do. My favorite location though is GWC programs in public libraries. I think that a different venue that is to attached to school is very beneficial from a mindset point-of-view, and it is helping to define how public libraries are changing their role in the local communities including the services that they offer to the public. Lastly, a thought on our inspirational video about making Detroit graffiti into art. How cool is it to help homeless women to transition out of a shelter by teaching them skills that are based on creativity! Feed the creative genius in a person and watch them apply that to all aspects of their life.

    • I loved that Detroit graffiti art video too!!

  • William

    Amazing meeting. Thank you.

    • Welcome to our Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley meetings, William!

  • john lozano

    Danielle, thanks for the presentation. As a teacher in a K-8 school, it is nice to hear of opportunities for girls to learn the essential skills to make an impact in their jobs and future. Great work!

  • Danielle, I’ve said this to you many times but you are absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing the message of Girls Who Code with us!

  • Maxi Bustos

    Great meeting!
    Mitty, good idea to have accounts, I think it is very useful for our Rotary communications.
    Danielle, thanks so much for sharing your experience! I am happy to see people working to encourage more women in tech! I am fortunate to work with a very well balanced team of engineers (almost 50% women, two of them are technical leaders), but I know that’s not the case in other teams. The work you do will help to change that situation in the future!
    Also, are you attending Grace Hopper Celebration in October?


We'd love to hear from you! You can use this form or send us an email directly at [email protected]

Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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