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CCAoA Collaborates with The WIT Project to Improve Website and Provide Real-World Experience for Women STEM Students

April 19, 2021

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) and the <wit> project are collaborating on a four-month project to improve CCAoA's ability to quickly add content and resources to its website. The <wit> project team consists of six women science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students from the City University of New York (CUNY) who are working in partnership with CCAoA IT staff. This is the first experience for many of the students in working hands-on with code that has an end user.  

The <wit> project supports women from underrepresented communities to succeed in tech careers, provides hands-on learning experiences to STEM students, and helps nonprofits access technology solutions  

“We’re thrilled to work with the <wit> project on this win-win’ project,said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America.It’s providing real-world experience for STEM students too often underrepresented in this field, and improving our ability to provide online resources for parents, providers and the Child Care Resource & Referral agencies who work with both.”  

Jules Emmanuelli, co-founder of the <wit> project, said:   

"At the <wit> project, we believe in challenging the way tech works. We want to change the makeup of tech so that its leadership and workforce incorporate the viewpoints of women from economically and ethnically underrepresented backgrounds. We strive to create opportunities and remove barriers to help women underserved in tech to become industry leaders through our 24-week fellowship program. We firmly believe that by building partnerships with nonprofit organizations, we enable our fellows to mobilize themselves to understand STEM as a mode of inclusivity and social change. Working with CCAoA enables our fellows to have hands-on experience with an organization also seeking to challenge the status quo."  

<wit> project fellow Panchita Lopez-Li added:   

"During my time in the <wit> project, I have been able to amalgamate my passion for technology and my desire to make an impact. I learned and developed skills in Python, web development and Agile framework and now I am able to utilize those skills to enhance the content management system for Child Care Aware of America. Being able to create a technology solution that better advocates for the significance of a quality child care program to ensure children have the ability to develop, explore, and grow has been a wonderful experience! Throughout the time working with my other colleagues, we have adopted effortless collaboration and supported in creating dynamic web tools and handy plug-ins to make CCAoA as effective and secure as possible."  

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Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. CCAoA works with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. CCAoA leads projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, conducts research, and advocates for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit childcareaware.org. Follow CCAoA on Twitter @ChildCareAware, on Facebook at facebook.com/childcareaware and on Instagram at instagram.com/childcareawareusa 

The <wit> project was founded in 2019 by two young Latina womxn with untraditional tech backgrounds who were troubled by the limited access they experienced as they embarked on their careers as software engineers. In navigating these difficulties, they realized that community was the most effective way to stay committed, celebrate authenticity, and most of all, create a sense of belonging for themselves and other womxn in this field. The <wit> project embraces individuals underserved in the tech industry and empowers them to unleash their potential by becoming leaders in social change. For more information, visit https://thewitproject.org. Follow the <wit> project on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thewitproject/ and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-wit-project/ 

Topics: Press Release

Written by CCAoA