The Black Girls Project was supported by Recode to train young people in technology and social entrepreneurship.

I want black girls, like me, who dream big, who have a desire to change their realities, to be able to attend all environments and have access to opportunities, regardless of their ethnicity, their color, their financial situation.”

The statement is from 15-year-old Isabelle Christina dos Santos Silva, a resident of the Grajaú neighborhood in São Paulo, who participated in the Recode program and found support to use technology as a tool for change in her life and her reality. A scholar at Colégio Bandeirantes, one of the most prestigious in the city, she decided to do her part to see more Afro-descendants in cultural and leisure spaces that she started to attend.

Despite her young age, she has already helped to broaden the horizons of 30 other students from different regions of the city of São Paulo through the Black Girls project. The initiative seeks to strengthen the digital empowerment of these young women, who use tools such as Skype and Hangout to study subjects such as Portuguese, Mathematics, Writing, and English, in addition to learning about the world of technology and entrepreneurship.

According to Isabelle, contact with Recode’s content expanded her vision of the transformative power of technology. “Certainly, Recode has impacted my life through these courses and through the approach. There are several online courses, but they don’t convey the content in a clear way that we can understand, both for our age and to stimulate us to see the world differently. I think this is a very big differential in Recode’s proposal,” she says, dreaming of seeing her colleagues as future leaders for the country.

Maternal support

Project participants also receive personalized guidance for career development. This task is carried out by Isabelle’s mother, Regiane Cruz, the main incentive and inspiration for the young woman.

Regiane accompanied a group of ten girls aged 12 to 24 in the Recode Experience of Entrepreneurship, an event held in December 2017. “The partnership was fantastic. The young women gathered virtually to discuss and create the digital project and began to dream big. Many already want to be programmers. This is what we want, to act as facilitators, providing support,” says Regiane, who plans to transform the initiative into an NGO, with its own headquarters, in 2019.


Less than a year after the project was created, the young women have already taken advantage of various other opportunities in the world of innovation, such as participating in hackathons and events like Campus Party. Another highlight was their participation in Technovation 2018, an international competition for creating applications for specific social challenges for girls aged 10 to 18.

One of the teams formed by them received support from mentors in the IT market to develop the “Scoliosis Diary” app, aimed at daily symptom tracking for patients with this type of curvature in the spine. The application represented Brazil as a global semifinalist in the competition. “We’re already preparing for the next edition,” Isabelle rejoices.