Girls Can Code: Teaching Scouts with Trailhead
Learn about the #Trailhead4All movement and how one Trailblazer taught a troop of Girl Scouts in Atlanta how to build an app to manage their lemonade stands.
Have you heard that Salesforce is now the 7th most in-demand software skill for job seekers? Last year alone over 300,000 new jobs called for Salesforce skills. By teaching these in-demand skills on Trailhead, the fun way to learn Salesforce, we’re working to bridge the skills gap by helping people from all walks of life embark on highly sought-after careers at the crossroads of business and technology.
Fortunately, we’re not alone in this effort thanks to the passion and generosity of our greater Salesforce community. These Trailblazers are carving out a path for others to follow through #Trailhead4All, community-hosted events that use Trailhead to teach Salesforce skills in their local communities. This movement kicked off after Dreamforce 2015 when community member Annie Shek-Mason challenged her fellow admins to volunteer to teach Trailhead workshops to pass on Salesforce skills to the future generation of Trailblazers. Since then, over 40 events have been hosted all across the globe.
Read on to hear one such story of a #Trailhead4All event held in Atlanta, Georgia.
At a recent troop meeting, parent Bryan James learned that his daughter’s troop had set their sights on earning their Computer Expert badge. Bryan, himself an active Trailblazer and Salesforce developer, volunteered to organize a Trailhead event so the scouts could learn about computers in a fun, gamified way.
“I had previously taught my daughter the Build a Lemonade Stand App project and she loved it. She even asked for a Lemonade Stand for Christmas as a result. By teaching the troop this particular Trailhead project, we were able to add upon the core skills learned through cookie sales, skills such as public speaking, responsibility, and commerce. Adding on a lesson about automating business processes was a great way to approach technology in an accessible way,” shared Bryan, seen here with scout Karina.
While it’s easy to see the benefit of teaching technology to kids, it can be intimidating to organize and host an event yourself. But Bryan says not to worry,
“Getting set up wasn’t as bad as I initially thought, it’s all about reaching out to your community and tapping into existing resources.”
“Initially, I was approached to help the troop earn their Computer Expert badge because of my experience as a Salesforce developer,” said Bryan, “and sure, I could teach the lesson but would that resonate well with the girls? Since the goal is not only to teach technical skills but also empower them, I thought a female teacher might be helpful. So, I reached out to the local Women In Tech group here in Atlanta and the great Andrea Tarrell graciously volunteered.”
“I was very excited for this opportunity to teach the Girl Scouts about Trailhead,” said Andrea Tarrell, Atlanta WIT member and Director of Marketing at Configero pictured here teaching the girls. “Salesforce administration is a skill-set that instantly makes you incredibly marketable to employers, but not a lot of people get exposure to it while in school,” noted Andrea.
“We need to be purposeful about exposing students and young people to different career paths and showing them examples of what these career opportunities look like in action.”
After securing Andrea as a speaker, Bryan reached out to his company MapAnything, a Salesforce customer, to host the event in a large meeting room one Saturday morning. They were more than happy to oblige, and suddenly the event was on! There was a location, there was a presenter, and most importantly, there was an audience of eager scouts.
On the bright Saturday morning, the eight Brownies (ranging from 7–9 years old) gathered around a conference table to learn how to create a simple app to manage their business. The girls sat around the conference table, listening and participating in the interactive session while snacking on Trailhead themed trail-mix and cups of lemonade, all selected to fit the day’s theme.
“The girls were absolutely darling, and so excited about getting to build an app. Everyone wanted to help type, come up with lemonade flavors, and hold Astro. I enjoy public speaking and giving presentations, but this was by far the most adorable audience I’ve ever seen,” Andrea shared.
And what did the kids think? The topic of lemonade will always get kids excited but adding the element of tech brought a whole new level of excitement. Karina, an energetic Brownie reported back, “My favorite part was choosing what lemonade flavors to sell. That was awesome!”
We’re excited to see where the trail will lead for these entrepreneurial Girl Scouts. Huge thanks to Bryan and Andrea for inspiring the future generation of Trailblazers.