Clubhouse celebrates international ‘Day of the Girl’

Now well into its second decade of serving Hilltop-area youth, the Computer Clubhouse of Tacoma is set this week to host a public event aimed at raising awareness about gender roles, celebrating inspirational women from around the world, and drawing attention to the importance of women’s education.

The event, held in honor of the United Nation’s "International Day of the Girl", will include performances and presentations by current Computer Clubhouse members as well as alumni.

The celebration “is unique because the community will get to meet the girls and see what they’re doing here,” said Clubhouse coordinator Jaleesa Trapp. “It will be nice to know that there are community members out there that support them.”

First established in 2001, the Computer Clubhouse of Tacoma is part of an international network created through donations by Intel, the global computer chip manufacturer. Operated by the Allen AME Church, Tacoma’s Clubhouse is a free, after-school program designed to educate and mentor youth ages 10 to 18, especially about technology.

Historically, the Computer Clubhouse of Tacoma has offered students opportunities to further their skills in areas such as video production, music, and software designs and applications.

The Clubhouse’s "International Day of the Girl", which will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, will showcase projects created by Clubhouse members.

Trapp, a recent graduate of the University of Washington who holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering with a concentration in Human-Computer Interactions, quit her job earlier this year to become volunteer coordinator at the Clubhouse.

Trapp was a Clubhouse member herself from middle school until she entered college. Now, as the Clubhouse coordinator, she stresses the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to all Clubhouse attendees, especially the girls.

Trapp says she hopes that the "International Day of the Girl" will result in heightened awareness and openness about women’s issues, both globally and locally.

“The easiest way to start that is right here in Tacoma,” Trapp said of the girls she mentors, and “for people to see that we’re educating them and empowering them here.”

The Computer Clubhouse of Tacoma’s "International Day of the Girl" Celebration will occur from 5:30-7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Allen Russell Building, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma. The event is free and open to the public.

Cassady Coulter is a freelance writer based in Parkland and a member of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University. She can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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