I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started college. I came in as a chemistry major, but I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to go down that path. My roommate has a note on her computer of all my various plans at different times– “government major, econ minor,” “art history major, psychology minor,” “double major chemistry and English.” During winter break my freshman year, I started an HTML and CSS tutorial on Code Academy because I was bored and a friend recommended it. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think much of it– it was just something I was doing to fill my time during break. Early the next semester, an e-mail blast went out about a new group on campus for women interested in learning how to code. It was such a funny coincidence given my recent interest, so I decided to go to the first GU Women Coders meeting.

Through the Python lecture series that they put on, I learned my first bit of programming. I soon realized that I loved solving the puzzles and working through solutions, especially when I was able to work them out with other people. I signed up for my first computer science course the fall of my sophomore year, and I declared my major that spring. Now, after graduating in May, I work for an organization called TEALS that helps high schools build and grow their computer science programs, with the hope that many more people (especially young women) will be exposed to the varied paths that computer science has to offer sooner than I was. If it hadn’t been for the supportive environments of both GU Women Coders and the CS department at Georgetown, who knows how much longer that note on my roommate’s phone would be.

Maya McCoy is a 2017 graduate of Georgetown University.

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