Reflecting on my own experience, junior high and high school can be one of the most fun and challenging times in life. While young people search to discover their strengths, natural talents and interests, they’re presented with a variety of careers that offer “upward potential” and “growth opportunities.”  But, how many of them get the opportunity to try out a career in advance?

I struggled with the answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While I toyed with the idea of being a meteorologist or a physician, I wasn’t sure how to match my skills and interests to a potential career path. However, what I did know is that I was smart, creative and driven. To be honest, I was nerd and saw things from a different perspective than many of my friends.  However, as you’ll discover in life – with difference, comes opportunity.

Which is why I am SUPER excited about a new program that’s being launched in 2014 through the University of Nebraska-Omaha called CodeCrush. With more than 1.4 million jobs predicted to be added to the IT industry by the year 2020, this could be a stepping stone to a fantastic future.

What is CodeCrush?

CodeCrush is this really amazing program that offers a FREE immersion experience for 8th and 9th grade girls designed to show them the world of information technology (IT).

As part of the UNO College of Information Science and Technology Women in IT Initiative, this program was created to help show girls all the cool and crush-worthy things you can do with IT. While the IT sector grows every day, there are too few skilled professionals to fill open positions and even fewer women (Boo! Come on girls, let’s do this!). We want to help more people find their love for IT and close the gender gap.

Going Behind the Scenes

From February 26 – March 1, CodeCrush will introduce these young girls to the world of IT with hands on, half–day workshops with bioinformatics, IT innovation, music technology and cybersecurity. The afternoons will be filled with checking out the IT departments of global corporations, meeting professional women in the field, mentoring sessions with current IS&T female students, behind-the-scenes tour of the Henry Doorly Zoo and even a Maverick hockey game.

Parents and Teachers, We Need Your Help

Students must be in 8th or 9th grade at the beginning of the 2013 school year, have parent permission and be nominated by a teacher who will also accompany them to the immersion experience.


  • Free to participate
  • Mentor teachers receive a $500 stipend for their time.
  • Only 20 spots available
  • Applications are DUE Dec 22, 2013

Learn more or apply at 

UNO Code Crush

Images courtesy of University of Nebraska-Omaha.