Area organization to launch project on cyberbullying

 

When Eboni Hicks created Brown Girls in Tech last year, the main goal was to expose young women, specifically those of color, to the field of technology.

“The whole purpose of the organization is to educate and make our young brown girls more aware of opportunities (in technology),” she said Thursday. “It started initially through Girls Who Code (an Augusta-based coding club for females) but through that relationship it was decided that there was more of a need to introduce this group to our girls.”

Once the group was formed, its 22 girls ages 10 to 18 began using their coding skills to create a website to combat an issue they felt caused a significant impact on them and their peers. The project focuses on ways to prevent cyberbullying and is set to launch Saturday.

An event to honor the students’ work and website launch will be at 10 a.m. in Room EC-1210 at the Augusta University Health Sciences Building, 987 St. Sebastian Way.

The project is one that Alicia Elam, co-facilitator of Girls Who Code, believes connected the girls.

“We talked about cyberbullying and other forms of bullying and how to combat that from Sept. 24 until now,” she said. “So we’re so excited because this is a combination of our girls and everything they’ve learned, and they each have a story to tell.”

The experience is something that gives 15-year-old Tatum Minter confidence.

“I didn’t know it took much work into building things like this, so it taught me how to code and how to build friendships with others,” the A.R. Johnson student said Thursday.

She feels the website will help those who have been bullies or bullied.

“It basically tells stories about people who have been bullied and try to inform people about it so they can try to get help because a main outcome of being bullied is suicide,” Tatum said.

Ally Owens, a 13-year-old student at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, believes the website will help create awareness about the issue.

“The bullies are behind a screen and they’re just saying these mean comments about another person, but there’s more to it than just those comments,” she said. “Sometimes the comments can be more threatening.”

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