CCA Girls Who Code Monthly Lecture Series open to all SDUHSD students

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CCA Girls Who Code club and Ravenettes team with speaker Melanie Spiegelman: Front row: Ariel Betts, Perneet Bhathal, Alexis Wu, Sarah Golts, Sarah Luo, Bordeaux Phommavong, Hannah Zhang. Back row: Dhanya Jakkula, Shera Zhong, Niki Hosseinian, Samantha Prestrelski, Lucy Hudson, Melanie Spiegelm

Canyon Crest Academy’s Girls Who Code club and the affiliated all-girls Ravenettes robotics team began 2020 with a new outreach event with the goal to encourage more girls to explore computer science and engineering. The 2020 Monthly Lecture Series, open to all students in the San Dieguito Union High School District, includes speakers from local tech companies and organizations to discuss opportunities and challenges girls may face while pursuing a career in STEM.

On Jan. 31, the Ravenettes invited their first guest speaker, Melanie Spiegelman, to speak about her experience as an executive in the tech industry. Spiegelman is a CCA parent and is currently an engineering leadership consultant and board member of Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel investing organizations in California focusing on high-tech startup companies. She was the first female VP of engineering at Intuit and a judge at FIRST robotics competitions. During her presentation, Spiegelman provided the team with valuable industry insight, including advice on how to further future success.

Future Monthly Lecture Series speakers include engineering teams and managers from local companies to provide an opportunity for girls to connect with the local tech community. The next lecture is scheduled on Feb. 21 at Canyon Crest Academy, featuring a team of female engineers from Sony. The March lecture will feature Aira, an AI company based in La Jolla, followed by an April lecture featuring Qualcomm.

In addition to the lecture series, on Jan. 24, the Ravenettes collaborated with Internet Safety for Everyone ( to hold an Internet Safety Workshop open to middle and high school girls in the San Dieguito Union High School District. In the workshop, topics discussed included internet safety and protection of privacy, as well as common issues teenage girls may encounter online and strategies to protect themselves.

If you’d like to join Girls Who Code, Ravenettes, or attend the outreach events, contact Samantha Prestrelski (president) or Alexis Wu (vice president) at for any questions. For information or the lecture schedule, check the CCA Girls Who Code website (

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