Girls Who Code Hosts Brave, Not Perfect Showcase Featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

400 teen girls gather for a town hall with AOC to present world-changing innovations on climate change, immigration and more

Girls Who Code Founder and CEO Reshma Saujani moderates live Q&A with the Congresswoman on pursuing bravery, not perfection

February 22, 2019 (Queens, NY) — Girls Who Code, the international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, today hosted a “Brave, Not Perfect Showcase” featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. More than 200 teen girls from the Bronx and Queens attended the event at the The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), founded during the 1964–65 World’s Fair.

“The world is changing faster every day, and our collective future depends on equipping women with technology skills to compete, as well as the bravery to think big, take chances, and bounce back after failures,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “Today’s showcase is a celebration of young women’s ingenuity and a testament to the fact that when you teach girls to code, they will change the world. We are so grateful that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez could join us for this important event.”

Alumni of Girls Who Code programs in New York City presented apps and products they designed, all aimed at changing the world for the better through technology. These projects included:

  • ADUENAM — A website that raises awareness of the unintended effects of current immigration policies and helps immigrants adjust to life in the U.S. through a forum, and a news page.
  • GREEN FOR GOOD —  A website that encourages taking action to support the environment. It features petitions, relevant news articles, relevant organizations, volunteer opportunities in your area, and small tips on how to make a difference.
  • ARCTIC RESCUE — A web-game to raise awareness about climate change in which a polar bear club jumps between melting ice sheets to reach its mother.

Following the demos, Saujani moderated a Q&A with the Congresswoman focused on one of the organization’s core philosophies: teach girls bravery, not perfection. Saujani gave a viral TED Talk on this topic in 2016, and earlier this month released the national bestselling book Brave, Not Perfect.

Young women from the audience then had an opportunity to ask the Congresswoman about her personal background and her policy platform, especially around the Green New Deal, immigration, and increasing access to education. Tiffany Dufu, founder and CEO of the Cru and a Girls Who Code board member emceed the event.

“The young women of the 14th District showed firsthand today what is possible when we empower young women in computer science,” said Rep Ocasio-Cortez. “Girls Who Code is not only pushing to make the technology industry more just and inclusive, but also equipping our girls with the skills they need to code the future they want to live in. I am proud of their curiosity and courage, and I hope to encourage them to bravely pursue their dreams, whether it’s to found a tech startup or run for U.S. Congress.”

Girls Who Code was founded in New York City in 2012 and has today served more than 12,000 girls across the five boroughs.


Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached over 90,000 girls in all 50 states and Canada. To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com.