Ebony Brown Hicks is using her love of technology to help mold the futures of local girls.
For Hicks, computers are more than tools of information.
They are vehicles that steered hicks to her passion.
“Even when i was working in h.r. in staffing i would go home after work and just work on the computer and teach myself how to design websites. i know it’s weird. but, that’s how i relax,” smiles Hicks.
She says her love for technology started young while she was attending T.W. Josey high school.
It has only intensified over the years leading her to seek out more knowledge each day.
She explains, “I taught myself how to code, how to design websites, how to design graphics.”
Ironically, it was something on her computer that one day helped hicks turn her passion into a purpose.
“I was cleaning up around the house and i don’t remember who it was on the infomercial but he was like “are you working in your passion?” “are you living out your dream?” i was walking through the house and answering the questions. i was like “oh my gosh! i am not.”
That was two years ago.
Since then, she has taken computer and cyber security classes to further develop her skills.
Along the way she noticed a lack of african american women on the same journey.
“I’m the type of person, if you don’t see it, build it,” she says.
Piece by piece she built “brown girls code” for african american girls ages 8 to 18 years old from 43 local schools.
The girls learn coding, cybersecurity, technology and robotics.
Hicks says the program reaches beyond professional development.
It also provides personal motivation.
“Encouraging them to be confident, to be courageous. to understand that they are brilliant. they are gifted although they may not be classified to be in the gifted program at school they all are. we all come with that special skill, that special thing that we were just created to do,” explains Hicks.
While hicks is giving the girls tools to use for their futures she admits they give her something in the present.
“The girls inspire me and they inspire one another just from their passion.”
If they are like hicks.. that passion will lead to new levels of progress.
“Follow your passion and your gut. you will never go wrong if you do that,” she advises.
For more information about Brown Girls Code go to www.BrownGirlsInTech.com