Loyola Awarded 2019-20 AAUW Community Action Grant for Girls Who Code

Loyola Awarded 2019-20 AAUW Community Action Grant for Girls Who Code

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded a 2019-20 Community Action Grant to Loyola University Chicago to support the university’s Girls Who Code chapter. The program provides free coding and computer classes to girls from sixth to twelfth grade. 

“Girls Who Code provides a space for creativity, mentorship, and leadership for young women and I’m thrilled to be able to continue what we do here at Loyola,” said Elizabeth Hopwood, PhD, lecturer and assistant director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities (CTSDH) at Loyola where the program is run. “I am so inspired by our undergraduate mentors who show up on Saturday mornings to share their love of creating and building with the young girls in the program.”

The $6,100 AAUW grant will help continue the training for young girls so they develop a deeper interest in STEM which can be transformative in school age children.

In 2017, Loyola University Chicago launched its chapter of Girls Who Code, a national organization working to close the gender gap in technology though education about the field. Led by Loyola students and volunteers, the group meets once a week on Saturday mornings on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus. Since its inception, the program has positively influenced and expanded educational opportunities for young girls. The program and CTSDH directly engages with the Rogers Park and surrounding communities of Chicago by creating opportunities for learning valuable 21st-century skills, building up the participants’ confidence, and networking with other women interested in tech. The program also benefits volunteers and mentors, who gain teaching experience in complex computer science topics.

“Coding is embedded in our day-to-day life; it is powerful and life changing. Therefore, the people behind the code should be as diverse as the audience it serves,” said Eunice Montenegro, a senior computer science major. “Organizations like Girls Who Code become essential in our community, and not only does it expose girls at a young age to code but it also offers young girls transferable skills, confidence, and a sisterhood.”

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Community Action Grants provide funds to individuals, AAUW branches, and AAUW state organizations as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education for women and girls. They award projects that increasingly collaborative and girl-focused, bringing together AAUW branches and local community groups.  

About Loyola University Chicago

Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 17,000 students. Nearly 12,000 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as a course location in Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 13 schools, colleges, and institutes, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top 100 national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit, “like” us at, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.