East Oakland high school students visit tech companies and meet diverse tech staff at field trips, starting with Amazon Web Services!

ccpa aws field trip dec

On December 9, 2023, over 60 high school seniors and educators took BART from Coliseum Station in East Oakland to visit a 19th floor AWS office in San Francisco as part of Girl Geek X’s Adopt-an-Oakland-School partnership with nonprofit Oakland Public Education Fund.

The students hail from CCPA, a public Oakland school in East Oakland, California with the highest college-going rate in the district despite being located in one of Oakland’s highest poverty neighborhoods. CCPA CS teachers including Ms Shrotriyee Jacque teach students Java, Javascript, data science, web development and more. Educators welcome increased collaboration between industry and academia to inspire students to envision future careers in tech.

Thank you to AWS volunteers for sharing valuable career insights with students who asked questions, in small groups of 5-15 students rotating around the room after AWS leader Trevor Moore gave an intro to Amazon as a business, with trivia and fun prizes. Special thank you to our executive sponsor Shannon Thoke and all the AWS volunteers!

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AWS employees Nelson González, Christina Zigliotto, and Jose Mora speaking with CCPA high school seniors.

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AWS employees Leticia Ambriz and Juan Morales speaking with CCPA high school seniors.

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AWS employees Dawit Bereket and Brian Hammons speaking with CCPA high school seniors.

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AWS employees Trevor Moore and Marlene Tuzar speaking with CCPA high school seniors.

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AWS employees Gabe Pinar and Mae Reyes speaking with CCPA high school seniors.

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Twitch employee Ashley Clark (and native Oakland resident!) joined by videoconference to talk about her career in technical program management with CCPA high school seniors.

Last school year, Girl Geek X volunteers helped CCPA staff prepare for school reopening in the pandemic, shared career insights for 11th and 12th graders in the school, gave feedback on senior capstone project presentations, and hosted a Teacher Appreciation luncheon with goodie bags for educators.

This school year, Girl Geek X founder Angie Chang added FIELD TRIPS to the program to inspire future careers in tech. Please use this form to express interest in volunteering or hosting a future field trip in 2023!

Field trips allow students to experience a variety of workplaces and gain invaluable insight on real-world job titles, professional skills, and modern workplaces – expanding their minds and STEM career options. Check out event photos at our Facebook page!

“I feel incredibly fortunate to work for a company that allows employees the freedom and means to lead these type of initiatives. I look forward to partnering again with Angie in the near future and continuing to drive change in our community.”

– Trevor Moore, Amazon Web Services Strategic Account Manager & CCPA CompSci Field Trip Organizer to AWS on December 9, 2022

“Everyone at Amazon has an inherent desire to make a positive impact, but sometimes we don’t know how we can add value. When Angie Chang from Girl Geek X approached us with the CCPA CompSci Field Trip concept, we jumped all over the opportunity.

I was immediately able to gather a diverse set of Amazonians, across multiple areas of the business, who shared the same passion for positively impacting where we work and live.

We worked with Angie and the CCPA teaching staff to build an impactful agenda which included a building tour, networking sessions, tech. talks and of course, free swag! Our events team did an incredible job accommodating a sizable group (70+) of visitors.”

Special thank you to Trevor Moore (AWS Strategic Account Manager) for organizing CCPA’s CompSci Field Trip to AWS on December 9, 2022.

More Student Field Trips in 2023 – Get Involved!

If you are working at Google, LinkedIn, GitHub, Discord, Instagram, Reddit, Spotify or TikTok and want to host a student field trip, please email us at angie@girlgeek.io to chat about 2023 field trips.

Logistics and Playbook for Future Field Trips

Many companies have free and/or catered lunch at the workplace that field trips can take advantage of for “lunch and learn” field trips:

  • Company speakers hail from a broad representation of departments / teams, from data to accounting, from engineer to marketing, from project manager to support engineer, from sales to design.
  • Emphasize both traditional (higher education, vocational school) pathways to career success, in addition to “non-traditional” (coding bootcamps, self-learning with portfolio of work) ways to entering the tech workplace.
  • Employee resource groups (ERGs) may be interested in inviting their members to participate as volunteers and role models for the students. Girl Geek X may also source volunteers to join the students for conversation at lunch.

Sample Field Trip Agenda

  • 10:00am – Students and educators arrive to office, check-in 
  • 10:30am – Tour of office & introduction to teams / departments / volunteers roles
  • 11:30am – Lunch with volunteers (speed networking with a wide gamut of roles in the company)
  • 1:00pm – Workshop(s) on coding, business, workplace skills, or speed networking (2-3 volunteers sit with a group of 5-15 students, students rotating chairs every 15 minutes)
  • 1:45pm – Distribute company swag
  • 2:00pm – Students and educators depart

Schedule for 2022-2023 School Year

Here are the times in the coming school year that field trips with CCPA can be scheduled, in order of preference:

  • December 5-11, 2022 Computer Science Education Week (or “CS Ed Week”)
    • Nationally-recognized annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity, and celebrate the contributions of students.
  • May 15-25, 2023 – “Postsession”
    • This is a time for CCPA students to leave the campus and participate in a range of activities like backcountry backpacking, or participating in a course (e.g. art, STEM). The majority of students will choose among Art and PE electives. Postsession participation is required, so students are encouraged to pick an activity or course most aligned to their interests and schedule.  
  • Any Friday during the 2022-2023 school yearpreferably adjacent to a long weekend or holiday.
    • Semester 1: August 8 – December 16, 2022 
    • Semester 2: January 4 – April 27, 2023 (before AP tests / finals)

Transportation

  • If the company is located within walking distance to a BART station, educators can walk with students to Coliseum Station to BART to the field trip by the BART public transportation system.
  • If the company is located in Silicon Valley, please provide a charter bus or Lyft/Uber codes for students to carpool.

Get Involved

Volunteer or host a field trip for students!

Did you know mathematician Grace Hopper helped invent the programming language COBOL? Here she is pictured at the UNIVAC I console in 1960. Her birthday is December 9 – and why CS Ed Week is celebrated each December!

Grace Hopper and UNIVAC