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Women’s Foundation of Arkansas to host Girls of Promise® Coding Summit

(Little Rock, Ark.) – The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and Southwest Power Pool (SPP) will hold the fifth Girls of Promise® Coding Summit at the campus of Southwest Power Pool in Little Rock on Dec. 8, 2017 in honor of Computer Science Education Week. The summit will welcome 150 6th through 12th grade girls from 35 schools and 18 counties across the state of Arkansas. The event is sponsored by SPP, Acxiom and AT&T.

The agenda will include special guest Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who will talk about his #CSforAR initiative to enroll more Arkansas students into mandated computer science classes in all high schools across the state. The agenda is also set to include the premiere of the newest PSA Campaign competition commercial, encouraging girl and minority students to enroll in offered computer science classes, which will be showing in movie theaters across the state starting winter break. AT&T will kick off the 2018 Tech For Good competition, which is designed to help girls create tech “for good” by first identifying a need in their community. The students will participate in an “Hour of Code” instructed by volunteers from Metova, and finally, the Arkansas Department of Education will make a surprise presentation and announcement.

Special guests will also include: Barbara Sugg, vice president of information technology, Southwest Power Pool; Janet Cinfio, CIO, Acxiom Corporation; Jan Collier, vice president & general manager – mid-states market at AT&T; GB Cazes, president of Metova, Inc.; executives from EAST Initiative, and computer science specialists from the Arkansas Department of Education.

“As the language of computer programming becomes more and more relevant to future career pathways, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas through our Girls of Promise® Initiative will work to ensure that our girls are given opportunities and encouragement to become fluent in this digital language,” states Anna Beth Gorman, executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.

“We employ hundreds of highly skilled computer programmers, engineers and others from a variety of STEM backgrounds,” says SPP Vice President of Information Technology Barbara Sugg, “so we see and depend on the value of STEM education firsthand. SPP works to promote and support the STEM career pipeline for Arkansas youth, and we are thrilled to be a part of this event and a partner of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and their Girls of Promise initiative.”

About Women’s Foundation of Arkansas

Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’ (WFA) mission is to promote and foster programs, activities, and opportunities that expand and strengthen the roles of women and girls in Arkansas. We are the only statewide foundation that focuses solely on improving their academic, economic, and social well-being. To fulfill this mission, WFA serves as a grant-maker, a convener, and a resource on the status of women and girls. It is our belief that improving their lives not only advances gender equity but also improves the health and wealth of families, communities, and the state as a whole. Learn more at

In addition to our Girls of Promise® Conference, we regularly organize coding summits for middle school and high school girls, film screenings, speaker series, and panels that highlight issues important to advancing the status of women. WFA also conducts and publishes research in areas such as educational attainment, socio-economic circumstances, health, workforce participation and careers, and barriers to success. As a grantor, WFA awards funding to organizations serving women and girls across Arkansas. Learn more at

About Southwest Power Pool:

Southwest Power Pool, Inc. manages the electric grid and wholesale energy market for the central United States. As a regional transmission organization, the nonprofit corporation is mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices. Southwest Power Pool and its diverse group of member companies coordinate the flow of electricity across 65,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines spanning 14 states. The company is headquartered in Little Rock. Learn more at

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