LAKEWOOD, WASH—Harrison Preparatory School senior Kathleen Julca is always looking for the next opportunity. Sometimes it’s a new program or scholarship to apply for, but most often these days it’s an opportunity to help others like her get into STEM and computer science.
Kathleen has noticed a lack of female representation at the various nationwide computer science programs she has participated in over the last few years. She wants to help reverse that trend.
“I am willing to put in all the backbreaking effort that paving the road for women’s increased access to computer education will require,” she said. “There is no better future imaginable for me than to inspire and bring together students of every nationality to transform the computer science field with breath-taking innovation.”
Kathleen kick-started these efforts by founding the Girls’ Coding Club at Harrison Prep. The club has grown to more than 20 members and Kathleen has put in more than 200 volunteer hours helping her classmates get started with coding.
Over the summer, Kathleen received non-profit status for an organization she started, Chicas of Technology, that provides young Hispanic women with free computer science resources and one-to-one mentorship. She is working to expand the organization’s reach by bringing in more volunteers to help increase available mentorship opportunities.
She does all of this while also exceling in the classroom, acting as a student representative for the Lakewood City Council, serving in the Civil Air Patrol, playing the flute for the Tacoma Youth Symphony and more.
“Kathleen is one of the most motivated and dedicated students that I have known in a long time,” said Harrison Prep counselor Kim Demming. “I fully expect her to reach all of her goals and to see her advocating for justice, education and access to advanced learning opportunities for minorities.”
Kathleen is one example of the more than 12,000 students in Clover Park School District who succeed inside and outside the classroom every day. Her passion for STEM and her desire to help other women break into the field make her a leader and visionary.