STEM Education for African Girls


Jessica (28) receives the Bertelsmann Technology Scholarship at Udacity

“2020 is a year to remember! It was full of pain and fear but despite this, I found courage and strength from deep within. After losing my job and my home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was hard to find hope that better days would come.

I observed that a majority of people in IT were not as badly affected as other industries. As a matter of fact, their relevance and value skyrocketed. I thought to myself that it could be my ticket to a better future. After two degrees, I was not mentally ready to go back to school and start all over again. Besides, I didn’t even know if I would like information technology. I however started to research its relevance to the oil and gas industry, and stumbled upon “Data Analytics.”

When the opportunity came through the Visiola Foundation, I knew I could not miss it. There was no cost to participate in the five-week Coding Boot Camp. In addition, we were even given data weekly to enable us to attend the classes virtually. I mean how good does it get! The program helped me through a very hard time in my life and it came at the perfect time. Through the learning period, I was challenged to find my confidence again. Being guided by patient tutors and encouraged by my classmates, I found the strength to hope for better. Not to mention the technical and interpersonal relationship skills I earned, that brought me a step further in life. I believed that if I could complete the Visiola Foundation’s program and the project that came at the end, then I had the capability to delve further into the IT industry.

After the Visiola Foundation’s Coding Boot Camp had ended, I applied for the Bertelsmann Technology Scholarship at Udacity and was admitted for the Data track in November. Classes began in December and all I could think “If I could complete the Visiola Foundation’s intensive boot camp, I can do this”. In fact, I joined the “60 days of udacity challenge” to spend at least 30 minutes each day programming. It is not difficult to keep up because, during the Visiola Foundation program, I spent at least four hours each day learning and battling with my VS Studio. However, the time and effort spent during the coding boot camp were what helped me get through a difficult phase.

Thank you Visiola Foundation! Please know that your impact on people’s lives is not only technical but also emotional. You give hope and with hope comes the possibility for a better tomorrow.”