Girls Who Code, the national nonprofit devoted to closing the gender gap in technology, will expand its free after-school club program nationwide in the hopes of reaching 40,000 girls across the country by the end of the academic year.

Designed for sixth to 12th grade students, the clubs aim to empower girls to break into the male-dominated profession while teaching them to use computer science for the good of their community.

RELATED: Fixing tech's gender gap

“Well before college, young girls have begun to opt out of computer science,” said Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani. “One of the reasons is that students don’t have the opportunity to explore computer science before college. They see 'brogrammers' — guys in hoodies coding out of their basements — in the media and think ‘that’s not for me’ before they’ve even had the chance to try. Our clubs model allows for girls across the country to learn to code early and see how they can use it to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.” 

RELATED: These tech-savvy teens are taking feminism to the next level

What began in 2012 as one program for 20 girls in New York City has grown into a national sisterhood of peers and role models, 65 percent of whom attribute their decision to major in computer science to the program. Girls Who Code has partnered with 60 companies to provide internships and jobs to its alumnae— another step toward its goal of broadening the horizon for the next generation of female engineers.

To sign up for a club near you, visit