I have been in the technology field, specifically video games and educational technology, for more than 30 years, running three small businesses in LA and producing many games and apps. Throughout that time, I have witnessed firsthand the lack of diversity in our business, especially women, and its negative consequences for product design and development.
About a year ago I was introduced to Liz Ackerman Hicks, the dynamic principal of a new public school that is opening this August – GALA (Girls Academic Leadership Academy). This is LAUSD’s first all-girls school, for grades 6-12, and is focused on teaching STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It is a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum, and open to any girl in the district. The school is co-located on the historic campus of Los Angeles High School in mid-city. Additional classes are offered in art, architecture, and design, including an innovative Maker Lab with 3D printers. Project based learning make courses feel relevant by solving real life problems as part of the curriculum. Extracurricular clubs and activities include sports, music, robotics, and flight club (with flight simulators).
Why is GALA an all-girls school? Research shows that girls do equally as well as boys in math and science in elementary school, but their grades and test scores falter in middle school and fall further in high school. All-girls schools, especially in urban areas, show higher graduation rates and higher enrollment and persistence in STEM courses.
My ask is simple. If you know of any girls who might be interested in attending GALA this August, there are still some openings for prospective 9th graders. Please help us get the word out about this wonderful and FREE public school alternative. Apply here.
It’s time to change the status quo, and what better way than through K-12 education? I couldn’t be more proud to be a volunteer for GALA.