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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our mission is to inspire middle school girls in East Tennessee to actively explore the possibilities of technology to empower their future careers.

Results: We have reached over 1000 girls since founded in 2017. For current figures, check www.orcsgirls.org/about.

Target demographics: Middle School girls to actively explore the possbility of technology

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500+ girls attending events.

Geographic areas served: Based in Oak Ridge, TN serving East Tennessee

Programs: Coding and technology classes and summer camps (starting in 2018).

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended classes with them in 2017 when they were starting them. I had been aware that they were there but am now old enough to give back and am a volunteer with them. It was a lot of fun for me at that age so getting to see these girls have fun too is really cool for me.

1 Nicholas N.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ORCS Girls is amazing. My daughter was introduced to computer science and robotics by this organization in 5th grade. After years of taking classes, she is now in high school and helps to lead classes and considering a career in computer science. ORCS Girls is life-changing, inspiring girls and giving them confidence to be leaders in computer science. I can’t recommend ORCS Girls any more highly.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing way to learn about technology, for 5th - 9th graders! I take as many classes as possible and I overall love this program. I do recommend this to anyone who wants to learn how to code and more!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ORCS Girls is doing a great job of creating learning opportunities for girls. I am from Pakistan and they have provided my daughter with great learning opportunities and have encouraged her interest in STEM.
Especially thankful to Dr. Proffen and the energy and enthusiasm that he brings into the online learning process.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have learned a tremendous amount from ORCSGirls as a participant and now volunteer. Their amazing classes greatly inspired me when I was in middle school. I live in a rural area without computer science classes, and I may never have even learned about programming without their amazing instruction. I am now a volunteer, and I continue to be incredibly amazed by ORCSGirls. When unable to host in-person classes because of COVID-19, they started online classes available that reached girls throughout the country. ORCSGirls has made an immense impact on me and so many others.

2 Heather M.12

Client Served

Rating: 5

ORCS Girls classes ahve been paying off BIG TIME for my daughter as she has ventured into Virtual School. Her confidence level on her Chromebook is very high omparted to those of her peers. She has also been able to troubleshoot the many, many tech issues we've encountered this week. Her level of comfort in this format for learning is 100% because of the classes she's taken with ORCS, so thank you.

2 Anne B.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been aware of ORCSGirls every since I moved to the area. When the classes were moved online in March, I started volunteering. It has been a joy to teach and work with these bright young individuals, and it's very rewarding to see them pick up and succeed at new topics and skills. I'm super impressed with them!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned a lot participating and volunteering for ORCSGirls!! I made so many friends through their programs and can’t imagine where I’d be now if I’d never discovered them.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my second year volunteering at the camp, and I have been involved with ORCS Girls for quite a while now. I started attending ORCS Girls classes in middle school with some of my friends. I remember going in there not knowing what to expect, and coming out super excited to show my parents the code I wrote during the class. I had started robotics the year before, but the classes definitely made my interest in STEM skyrocket. After going to many classes throughout the course of middle school, I decided to volunteer at a few classes and of course, the camp. The girls, counselors, and directors were all super amazing to work with!!! Working with ORCS Girls to put on this camp has been such an awesome opportunity for me to share my skills and help young girls realize that can be learn and be involved in STEM. Anyone can. :)

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered with ORCS Girls multiple times, and each time more and more girls leave inspired and excited to be involved with computer science. I’ve also partnered with ORCS Girls to run a robotics camp for the past 2 summers, so I’ve seen the amazing impact ORCS Girls has on the community. This year, in-person classes were canceled, but that didn’t stop ORCS Girls. They quickly went online, providing classes for girls nationwide who would have been unable to attend if the classes were kept in person. Not only have they expanded their reach, but they’re also working hard to expand their curricula with more new classes. ORCS Girls continues to amaze and inspire me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with ORCSGirls for over a year, and in that time my respect for the organization has only grown. They do a really great job of inspiring young girls to pursue their passions in computer science and take on the challenges of learning.
With the pandemic shutting down many opportunities in our nation, ORCSGirls has adapted to an online model to continue providing their amazing classes.
I am very grateful for this organization and the impact it has made in my life.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was once a student in these classes where I learned so much about different fields of computer science. Now I come back to volunteer and continue to learn and grow. The classes have expanded from 15 girls to 30 girls with regular students. The girls have so much fun and learn due to Dr. Proffen’s wonderful teaching style.

3 Rachel Marisa H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ORCS Girls is fantastic, and Thomas Proffen certainly has a gift for teaching! I've volunteered at many of the classes, and the girls always come away excited and with a new passion for computer science topics. I am thrilled to get to work with this great organization!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

ORCS Girls is top notch! It has provided my daughter with great leaning opportunities and has encouraged her interest in STEM.

3 Keri W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization! My daughters have taken classes through them. In addition to learning coding and other skills, they have made friends, built their self confidence, and learned new ways to approach projects.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just volunteered for the first time, and it was fun and rewarding. I learned a lot, right along with the girls and the other volunteers, plus we all had some fun and laughs getting to know just a little bit about each other. These classes will definitely provide the girls a good foundation for future studies in STEM. Thomas Proffen was a great mentor and teacher, humble, gentle, fun and knowledgeable. I will definitely volunteer again soon!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dr. Proffen's passion and dedication to the community he serves is obvious in the time and energy he invests in this work. The activities are well-targeted for the age group, they are engaging, and they leave the participants with new skills and a sense of accomplishment.

There's no reason to take my word for it, though. Attend a session. Better yet, send your daughter. Watch how she and the other participants react as they build their own internet-connected device or program their own robot. Each face you see will remind you why you supported this fantastic organization.

4 Jami G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered to help with a couple of the ORCSG workshops last spring. I was blown away with how engaged the middle school participants were! This is a fantastic organization providing opportunities for students to engage in learning about computers.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered several times and it has been a great learning experience for me as well! The girls always have a lot of fun and so have the volunteers. I had to stop volunteering because I moved and I am still sad about that.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for several of the classes offered by ORCSGirls. The content is of incredibly high quality and taught so well I could tell the girls in every class were genuinely excited and were having lots of fun -- and so was I! In fact, I have since recommended the materials from the classes to several of my friends with kids -- all of the materials are conveniently shared on the ORCSGirls website for free. As a woman in computer science, I cannot overstate how much I appreciate the effort Thomas is putting into introducing girls to technology, I wish classes like these were available everywhere. From a volunteer perspective, every class has been fun and incredibly rewarding.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended over 30 of the phenomenal workshops offered by ORCS Girls. We live over an hour away, and I wait 3 hours for the class to end. I do so gladly and eagerly because the classes are that phenomenal. My daughter absolutely loves them. Mr. Proffen and the other volunteers are amazing. We are so grateful that he and they volunteer their time on Saturday mornings to help teach girls about technology. Thanks to their instruction and Mr. Proffen's mentorship, my daughter -- a homeschooled girl from a small town in Tennessee -- was a finalist in a national computer science competition for girls. Our only regret is that we cannot find something similar for our son.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for the Micro-bit class and was very impressed with what is being offered and taught. The future is bright for girls in Science. I look forward to volunteering again.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The classes provided are excellent for introducing middle school girls to coding. Our daughter has attended several and has found them very informative as well as enjoyable. Thomas and the other volunteers provide superior teaching and experience from their fields of expertise. Thank you for providing such opportunities for gaining a broad introduction to computer science.